I had my first native strawberries of the year today, and I’m very short on words to describe them. So small and juicy, each one tasting a little different than the one before. Little miracles on a stem, they are.
And it was a miracle we got to have any, at all. Drumlin Farm had pick-your- own-strawberries as part of their CSA today, but my littlest one had other ideas. Namely, running up and down the rows screaming until I picked him up, and then screaming if I moved in such a way as to suggest I might want to set him down. Did I mention he’s a screamer?
Carrying a 30-lb. toddler comfortably in one arm isn’t easy to do while picking tiny, delicate fruits from plants that only grow ankle-high. Most self-respecting people would have cut their losses right then and called it a day, but not me. No, I needed strawberries. Strawberries at any cost.
Thankfully, one of the other CSA pickers took pity on me and offered to fill my container for me. I was stunned. That’s not the way we treat each other here in the Northeast. By the time I finally thought of a way to graciously accept her offer, she was handing me a quart of the shiny little gems. If you’re reading this, kind stranger, thanks a million. Want to meet me there next week?
The little one has always shunned berries, as well as virtually all other fruit. Still, I gave him a strawberry to hold for the long, bumpy stroller-ride from the fields back to the car. I could see him bringing it to his mouth and touching it to his tongue for a millisecond. After a while, it seemed like maybe he had taken the tiniest nibble. Maybe. He continued clutching his fistful of strawberry pulp as I put him into his car seat. Seeing the puckered-up, pleasantly surprised expression on his face in the rear-view mirror as he took his first real tastes made it all worthwhile.