As the first waves of summer heat warm up the Midwest, the fruity scent of berries begins to perfume the air. When I see wild berries in the backwoods along a trail and bushels of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and gooseberries at the market; I remember my childhood fingers stained from elderberries and other berries as I picked them and loaded up a pail. By the end of picking my fingers were dark red and blue colors and my stomach was full.
I recall watching jams and jellies made in the relatives’ kitchens and canned for fall and winter. All the cobblers, crisps, pies, shortcakes and pandowdies baked and sampled over the summers.
Berries are ripe and bursting with flavor by the end of summer. There is an endless array of “you pick them” farms throughout the Midwest for people you want fresh berries, but do want to chance picking wild berries.
Pumpkins and squash maybe associated with fall, but berries are a summer fruit. Now, I’m hungry.