During the spring and summer, a lot of posts go up around here about the incessant washing, hulling, paring, chopping, freezing, and canning - oh the canning!
Have you noticed that talk goes a bit quiet over the winter? I barely have to cook during those colder months. Need some soup? Chop an onion, thaw some stock, toss in some premeasured and frozen black-eyed peas, crunch some thyme off the sprigs still hanging amid the pots and pans (I don't even have to search through the spice cabinet!) and when it's almost finished, dump in some already-chopped greens (perhaps a collard ball--remember those?!).
Dear God, do I really have to turn that pepper grinder?
I'm telling you, just call me Molly Weasely, because I think the food has been making itself.
And I, my friends, have gotten really used to it.
You know how I usually pine for the spring markets? Counting the days until we'll see the first sprightly asparagus, green onions and arugula? Yeah, yeah, yeah. For whatever reason, this year I've been perfectly happy to just keep on keepin' on with my jars of green beans.
In all of this lethargy, I have to admit something scandalous. I missed the first spring market. I didn't blow it off--it's worse: I forgot. The usual farmers were there, waiting and expectant, eager to show off the fruits of this weird spring, but I didn't show. Did they miss me? They said so, but they know how to play a girl like me, right? The worst part, while I was missing the market, a bag of lettuce, precious and left over from my winter co-op, languished in the fridge uneaten.
What's happening to me?!
Whatever it is, today is the day to snap out of it because word is, the strawberries are in! I don't just mean any strawberries. I mean the only local and organic strawberries I've been able to find in my area. The ones that are only available when they're available, until they're not. I wrote about them and my aversion to methyl bromide and other such yummies last year.
So I found out today that, surprise! the berries are ready...TODAY.
That means I need to get my act together folks. It's time to start writing again about the washing and the hulling and the slicing and the freezing and the jamming. It's time to WAKE UP from my green bean stupor because strawberries don't last. In fact, their perishablity beckons a certain frenzy, one that years ago so gripped my sister and I that we disappeared ninety pounds of them into jars and freezer bags with such fervor that we forgot to save any to eat fresh. I looked around when it was done, surprised to find nary a berry in sight!
I doubt this grouchy old bear will muster that kind of hustle right out of the den this time around, but with 30lbs of berries coming my way, some kind of rally is in order. I'm thinking Bruce Degan. Have you read his picture book Jamberry?
Jamming in Berryland."
That's what I'm talking about!