Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Flavors of Summer's Past
This week's prompt asked us to describe your favorite fruit or vegetable: the first time you tasted it, where it came from, where you were, what memories it brings.
Hot summer days. My brothers and I spent them outside. The half acre field behind the house was our haven. Overgrown, our paths through it well defined.
Around the house were several trees. All perfect for climbing.
We ate our first fruits there.
The old cherry trees, with sappy branches. If we could beat the birds, we feasted on bright red cherries. So tart they made us shudder.
Wadded up in the weeds were black raspberry patches. We ate them sun-warmed. The berries sweet and smooth flavored, leaving our fingers purple stained from grabbing.
The old pear tree was stingy. Only producing every other year. Soft yellow-brown fruit. The sugary juices rolling from our chins as we ate. The cores dropped where we finished.
The old concord grapevine. Almost wild. The skins were eaten first, slightly bitter. Then the meat of the grape. A full, sweet, lightly tart flavor that drew us back for more.
And on the side of the road behind the field, one neighbor had strawberries. As big as our hands. I think we ate more than he harvested. But he never said a word.
I miss those days. Eating the gifts of nature at our leisure. The flavors still stamped in my memory.