I’ve been dreaming about huckleberries lately. And thimbleberries, wild raspberries, juneberries. Hiking with friends a few weeks ago, we kept stopping to eat wild strawberries. Crackberries, we called them. Once you start seeing them, they’re everywhere.
This is also the time of year when my fruit trees begin to ripen: first the sweet cherries, then sour cherries, and later in the summer there will be plums and pears and apples.
Before I lose myself in heaps and piles of fruit, here are some suggestions for ways to enhance this ripe and fruity season.
Obviously, pick some fruit. If you find an excellent patch of wild berries, don’t tell anyone! Except maybe me.
If you don’t scarf all the fruit before you get home, make a fruit pie or cobbler, jam or preserves, fruity cocktails or smoothies. Huckleberry pie recipes are abundant – and often easier to find than the fruits themselves.
And for fruity entertainment, how about a dash of 1990s high school raunch with “American Pie,” or a big helping of Southern charm and sass with “Fried Green Tomatoes.”
For a bit more seriousness, the book/film combos “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Cider House Rules” both blend fruit with social and moral quandaries, quirky characters and vivid settings.
For children, nothing beats the classics “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey and “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl.
Blend up a fruit-picking playlist with songs like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Raspberry Beret” and “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.”
Even better, wear a raspberry beret while frolicking in the wild strawberry fields. Forever.
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