I’m on my favorite porch in western NY, savoring the season – strawberry season that is!
I’ve picked, plucked, mashed, made jam and just finished my first strawberry shortcake (make with a piece of angel food cake, one scoop of vanilla ice cream, as many heaping tablespoons of freshly mashed and lightly sugared strawberries as you can take and a dollop (or three) of whipped cream) yummmm! It is the official taste of summer for me.
Thirty years ago, as a new bride, I was taken to the strawberry fields by my sisters-in-law. My new mother-in-law very patiently coaxed me in the art of jam cooking and canning. Nobody really had to teach me how to eat or appreciate the fruit of the fields. I’m a fan of the strawberry in any form, but they are best eaten in the field warm from the sun.
This year, my son, daughter-in-law, niece and nephew were my strawberry partners in crime. Our timing wasn’t great as it’s been a rough strawberry season this year in Western NY. A too cool and wet spring has left the fields uneven. But, we picked the small but very sweet ripe berries from our search on a hot day in Niagara County, NY. Before we took the strawberries home, we visited my mother-in-law and father-in-law at Cold Springs Cemetery – to commune and remember.
We took shifts plucking, mashing, eating and drinking strawberries – and today I finished the jam cooking in the same kitchen where I learned to make jam. Thanks to Gladys Hoffman for one of the most endearing pleasures of my life. I’m blogging from her front porch that Patty, Alex & Johanna share with me so charmingly when I visit them.