It's time for strawberries in South Carolina! Today is the day that I will purchase some....and shortcake will be on the menu tonight! Buy? You might ask. Yes, buy, not pick...although there are a number of farms nearby where we could pick our own. I have some physical limitations that don't allow easy bending in order to pick them as I did in my youth. So, I'll gladly let someone else do that chore, and I'll willingly hand over a bit more cash for the blessing!
I think strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. I'll eat my fill of them through this season as well as put as many into the freezer as possible. I might even make some jam this year. There is nothing quite like fresh jam on morning toast, is there?
In my mind, I can smell those berries, and it reels back the memory film to earlier days. Suddenly, I'm sitting at a yellow formica table, on chairs with yellow vinyl seats. There's a yellow, dial wall phone above my head, and I have to move a bit to keep the long, twisted phone cord from tangling in my hair. The wall paper with the green ivy pattern makes me dizzy when I look at it, so I turn and face the kitchen sink where my Aunt Nita is laughing with my Mom as they slice the tops off the fresh strawberries they picked that afternoon. I watch the operation with my mouth watering, knowing that in a few hours, we'll be eating together at the picnic tables in the back yard. The grilled hot dogs and hamburgers will be followed by mounds of berries and fresh whipped cream over the warm cakes.
When I was a child, that was the scene nearly every Sunday night of the summer. Family suppers in the back yard at Grandma's house. Of course, strawberries were there only in season, but that was my favorite time! There were 'strawberry suppers' at the Presbyterian church,too, and as a teen I was a part of the youth group which would help serve the delicious dessert to those who were present. When I grew up, and had children of my own, the church we went to had a big 'strawberry supper' . The berries were donated by twin brother farmers, who allowed the church ladies to pick them from the fields. Then they'd be prepared, cakes baked and the members of the church would join together that evening for fellowship together around the mountains of berries topped with cream.
Many things in life come and go, leaving us with only memories. Happily I report to you that one thing that remains is those wonderful, juicy berries! There will be no 'cool whip topping' for us...it'll be real whipped cream. There will be no store bought pound cake for us, we always opt for making the cake of Bisquick. It's only just minutes after my breakfast, and already I'm counting the hours 'til dinnertime!
Pardon me now, while I go to wipe the drool off my chin!