Sunday, 14 June 2009

Strawberry Picking

One of the greatest pleasures in life is surely the planning and anticipation of pleasures to come. So it was that this morning found me sitting in bed, propped up on a cloud of feathery pillows, sipping a very good cup of tea, and discussing with my dear husband what we might do with or day. I had two ideas in mind- either driving out to Mersea Island, where we first met, to take lunch at the Company Shed which is famous for their seafood; or to go to our local farm shop, and pick our own strawberries.

It did not take much time to decide upon picking our own. Carl and I think so alike. We decided that we would count to three, and on three each say either 'Mersea' or 'Strawberries' so we could both honestly say which we would prefer and not say what we thought the other would like to do best. After several rounds of promising not to hesitate and try and wait a moment to hear the other one, we said '1, 2, 3...' and I said 'sandcastles' as Carl said 'tea'! We had both thought of the same way to cheat!

Strawberry picking is very civilized at our local farm shop. There are plants outside and also plants in polytunnels, but what they both have in common is that they are all grown on trestle tables, so there is no bending over or rummaging about. The scent in the polytunnels and the warmth was heavenly. There is nothing to compare to the first freshly picked strawberry of the summer, the warm flesh pressing against your lips, then exploding into sweetness. Scrumptious!

Alas though, the strawberries were not as bountiful as we hoped. We were not as early as we might have been, and the best had been picked. There are lots and lots that will be ripe in a week or so...and tehre were some very vexing strawberries indeed- they were just the shade of scarlet that shows them to be perfectly ripe, until you went to pick them, and realised that the other side was entirely green!

Still, between us we managed to gather a basket full, and our menu for the next few days will be featuring strawberries and cream, strawberry smoothies, and I have plans for a strawberry facemask too!

I hope that your own weekend is strawberry scented and filled with pleasure too.

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