It is that time of year again when Prince Edward Island strawberries are ripe. They are such a luscious treat that it is impossible to pass them at the store. The local berries are so good, naturally sweet and tasty. Driving home with them in the back seat fills the car with that fresh strawberry smell. There is jam and shortcake in our future.
In 1999, Rick and I had a year away from school and we travelled. During one part of a longer trip, we stopped in Los Angeles to take in the local sites. We also took a day trip to San Diego and on the way back to Los Angeles, stopped at a strawberry field. The fields of plants went for miles into the horizon and the berries were huge. We bought a basket to take with us. How disappointing! The huge berries were tasteless, like so many of the strawberries that are available in our stores year round these days. Our island berries are certainly worth the wait and freeze well for next winter. We can enjoy their sweet goodness all year
In Mount Pearl, Newfoundland where I grew up, our next door neighbours, the Ralphs, grew delicious strawberries as well. They worked hard to augment the soil, using seaweed, to make fertile soil for fruit and vegetables to grow. Their strawberries were also tasty and juicy, used for jam which Mr. Ralph ate every day.
Every year, the Ralphs gave us some strawberries and we often ate them right out of the garden. One year, Dad ate strawberries and had to go to hospital because of an ulcer which started to bleed due to the acid in the berries. Before long he had surgery which removed two thirds of his stomach. Today people take antibiotics for the same problem. Poor Dad! He never ate strawberries again. I love them but always remember what happened to Dad.
Strawberries, delicious as they are, can stir up a variety of memories.