Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Summer always brings back so many memories, sensory memories, not just the memories of my mind.
My grandfather was an amazing baker. We lived on an acreage with strawberries, peaches, pears, apples, grapes and the most amazing patch of both red and black raspberries. The patch had been there long before we had moved onto the place and was easily tended. It was sandy soil and I would often crawl in among the brambles to play in the sand. I can remember the warm sand on my legs even now.
June was often the beginning of a very fruitful berry, fruit, and vegetable harvest. We would enjoy strawberry pie and Grandma would make jar after jar of strawberry jam. Many quarts were frozen for later use during our long Iowa winters.
Strawberries were wonderful, but I really loved the raspberries, especially the extra sweet black ones. We could pick on the patch almost all summer it seemed. Quart after quart went into the freezer, but many of the berries were used the same day they were picked. Grandpa would make the most amazing black raspberry cobbler! I can taste it even today. The warmth of the filling, the flakiness of the crust! He didn't do a traditional cobbler, but instead, made an extra thick pie crust for the top and bottom. For an added treat, we would often make homemade ice cream on the front steps while the cobbler baked and cooled a little. I can still hear the sounds of the birds quietly chirping to each other in the heat of the late afternoon. We lived amongst over 50 oak trees and the sound of the leaves rustling always seemed to calm my spirit.
I am often amazed at this time of the year just what will make my senses soar, memories come back to life. Time was so simple, summer was truly a time of relaxation and joy. Swimming, reading quietly under a tree, and eating black raspberry cobbler with freshly made homemade ice cream. Life was so good!