strawberries: a taste of something wild and sweet

“Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” ~ Pema Chodron

 

Hello, good-looking friends. How are you holding up?

Hard to believe it’s already June. It’s certainly been a trying three months! Time to anticipate summer with a little strawberry love. 🙂

As we hunker down in our private spaces, our strength, resilience, faith and patience are being tested as never before. Each day brings a new concern as we reassess our priorities and consider an uncertain future.

Rather than perpetually bemoan forced confinement, we can mindfully pause to carefully consider, with humility and gratitude, the time we are actually being given and the challenge to use it wisely.

I’m here to tell you there is good news: Today, it’s your turn. Wherever you are standing right now, I give this to you:

 

“Strawberries” by Alexis Kreyder

 

WHAT IS GIVEN
by Ralph Murre

The likelihood of finding strawberries
tiny and wild and sweet
around your ankles
on any given day
in any given place
is not great
but sometimes
people find strawberries
right where they are standing
just because it is their turn
to be given a taste
of something wild and sweet

 

“Strawberries on Spode Plate” by Jeanne Illenye

 

*

 

These days I’m especially grateful for poems that provide sweet respite. Tamara Madison revels in more innocent, carefree times. I’m happy to join her, if only for a precious few moments.

 

“Strawberry Still Life Miniature” by Rebecca Luncan

 

STRAWBERRIES
by Tamara Madison

Fragole, fresas, klubniki, fraises
is there a term that names them better
than strawberry? I think of sunshine
and straw hats, picnics, boating parties,
a barber shop quartet, home-made
ice cream, grainy and sweet, everything

warm, wholesome, innocent, old fashioned.
Near my house there’s a strawberry field
that begins its work in spring, the stray seeds
emerging unbidden in neighboring gardens,
on walkways, from cracks in the sidewalk,
the clean white petals yielding pale-green

hearts that swell, redden, and fill
with so much happiness to give in their sweet-tart
flesh, their fertile seeds that linger in your teeth
and remind you of a gentle time only moments
ago when you tasted the essence of summer
on your joyful tongue.

 

“Strawberry Garden” by Jacek Yerka

 

*

 

Strawberries pretty much steal the show, whether artfully arranged in a tart, perched atop a cloud of whipped cream, or seductively dipped in dark chocolate. They’re beautiful all by themselves, too, their deep red color and heart shape a symbol of Venus, Goddess of Love.

Madison is right; there’s also something innocent and old- fashioned about strawberries. Simpler times, happy memories — like when I had the most delicious bowl of strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, or when I baked a scrumptious strawberry pie from Len’s homegrown fruit, or when my mom made shortcake using Bisquick and a jar of Avoset.

 

“Strawberries in Yellow and Blue” by Robert Papp

 

After reading Lois Lenski’s Strawberry Girl, I wanted to move to Florida and grow strawberries with Birdie Boyer and her family. How I loved that book! Much later, I was thrilled to learn Shakespeare had decorated Desdemona’s handkerchief with symbolic strawberries. 🙂

 

 

Speaking of shortcake, now’s as good a time as any to serve you some. Did you know that we might have the Native Americans to thank for it? Supposedly, they were already eating wild strawberries when the colonists first arrived. They used to mix crushed berries with cornmeal to bake into strawberry bread. After trying this bread, the colonists came up with their own recipe, creating strawberry shortcake.

Well, that’s one origin story, anyway. It’s also been noted that the first strawberry shortcake recipe appeared in an English cookbook (1588). Oh yes, for something so totally delectable, the British were probably responsible. 🙂

 

 

This time, we decided to try a gluten free shortcake, using a biscuit recipe that calls for King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix. To the basic biscuit recipe, we added two tablespoons of sugar and two teaspoons of vanilla. Quick, easy, and delicious! You can find the recipe at the KAF website (scroll down to read the tips on how to bake a sweeter biscuit for shortcake).

 

 

Now, it’s your turn again to help yourself. Enjoy!

 

 

Wishing you a strawberry-filled June with many wild and sweet moments.

Do you have a favorite strawberry memory?

*

 

“My perfect last meal would be: shrimp cocktail, lasagna, steak, creamed spinach, salad with bleu cheese dressing, onion rings, garlic bread, and a dessert of strawberry shortcake.” ~ Joan Rivers

*

 

The beautiful and gifted Irene Latham is hosting the Roundup at Live Your Poem. She’s hosting a special celebration in honor of poet Nikki Grimes. Enjoy all the poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week and have a nice weekend.

 


Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

40 thoughts on “strawberries: a taste of something wild and sweet

  1. What a treat. What a delight. I feel refreshed and have a smile on my face. From the Murre poem, I know it’s my turn to find this here. And, those paintings of strawberries are wonderful! Yerka paintings always make me smile. Thanks for being sweet today, Jama. I love being a recipient of your gifts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for giving us a turn with the strawberries, Jama! Just what I needed this morning. I would love to visit Yerka’s Strawberry Garden. My favorite birthday cake is white cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh YOU and Mr. Cornelius and wild, sweet strawberries! You’ve just given me art for ArtSpeak: RED, dear Jama! THANK YOU! We have a small patch of wild strawberries in our front yard. Each morning when there’s fruit, we have rabbits feasting. 🙂 One of my favorite strawberry memories is the poems kindergarteners wrote about them after reading FRESH DELICIOUS.. they found an angel inside a cut strawberry, and that image sticks with me. May we all find angels in strawberries! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, I envy your wild strawberries and ability to see rabbits feasting on them (sounds like a poem to me)! An angel inside a cut strawberry — LOVE! Thanks for sharing that wonderful memory. Looking forward to your Artspeak:Red poem with strawberries!

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  4. Enjoyed both of these poems, especially Murre’s, because I can so readily identify with discovering wild strawberries around our ankles…here in rural NH, they are everywhere!And I second the wonderfulness that is strawberry shortcake…our daughter’s first birthday was a garden party featuring strawberry shortcake as her birthday cake, complete with homemade biscuits from Yours Truly. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, sounds like the perfect first birthday cake!! Now I’m jealous, because I’ve never seen wild strawberries growing anywhere. It must be magical to stumble upon them . . .

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  5. I loved my grandmother’s shortcake, a happy memory. In one early house where my husband & I lived, we inherited a strawberry patch. What a delight that was, to pick and eat, to pick & create jam! This is the time! Strawberries abound in the stores & in my frig, Jama! I love that picture of strawberries on trees & “something wild and sweet”- a delight every year. Thanks for sharing the sweetness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That must have been a sizeable patch if you had enough berries to make jam. And I imagine nothing quite compares to your grandmother’s shortcake! The strawberries in the stores are finally getting sweeter — June is the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE this post. Thank you for a brief respite from all the pain I’ve been reading about already this morning. The pain’s still there, but strawberries really really help. (And I did have strawberry jam on the bread my husband made and served me for breakfast this morning, too!)
    ❤ Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, every time I hear about the breakfasts your husband makes for you I am so envious! Homemade bread with strawberry jam — doesn’t get any better than that (except maybe homemade bread with marmalade, say the Paddingtons).

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  7. Another ‘berry’ awesome post, Jama! To add to Tamara Madison’s multilingual words for strawberry: erdbeere in German. My strawberry memory is about the strawberry field behind our house that spanned a full city block in Orange County, CA when I was growing up. After the farmer harvested his crop he’d let the surrounding neighbors go pick the ‘dregs’ – which were not dreggy at all! Strawberry desserts for weeks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for such a delightful post about strawberries! I remember all the summer mornings I was in the family strawberry patch picking berries and swatting away the mosquitoes!! I also want to thank you for mentioning the book “Strawberry Girl” because I read all of that series with great joy and wish that I had them even now! Stay safe and healthy-may your lips be stained with strawberry juice this summer and may you avoid the “mozzies”!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a lovely post. Strawberries are my favorite and Jamie ‘s favorite fruit! Denis made me a strawberry shortcake Birthday cake last week that was oh so delicious. ❤️ glad you are still holding up!
    Love the Joan Rivers quote!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a strawberry family! Your birthday cake sounds SO delicious. Does Denis do carry out? With both Denis and Jamie working their kitchen magic, you could have a cool side business going. 🙂 And I do miss Joan . . . we need her keen insight and humor more than ever.

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  10. Jama, after your delicious political rant the other day, I can see why “these days you’re especially grateful for poems that provide sweet respite.” There is nothing like a poem that makes you pause, offers sweet delight, and “remind(s) you of a gentle time only moments/ago when you tasted the essence of summer/on your joyful tongue.” I love strawberries but alas, had to remove them from my garden whey they thought they were the queen of the garden, running here, there, and everywhere. The next time I plant strawberries, they will be in pots.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yum. I can practically SMELL the strawberries through my screen. The roses, too. You always choose the best art to go with the best poems about the best foods! Once more — Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a delicious post~thank you. That Murre poem will be something I reread over the week.

    My strawberry memory is finding wild ones at my grandparents place in the wilds of Oregon. I used to get spend one week with them every summer and those memories are some of the best of my life.

    Thank you for spreading some cheer during this surreal summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Let’s “delight in” each precious bite of a strawberry… Yum, love this strawberryicious post Jama! Looking forward to having some for breakfast tomorrow, maybe I’ll have a strawberry dream tonight… Thanks for all the mouth watering images, biscuit and strawberries–double yum, and especially the “Strawberry Garden” by Jacek Yerka!

    Liked by 1 person

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