Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer delights

Such a beautiful time of the year! I have been revelling in the fruits and veggies of summer, savoring each one with delight.
When I was a child, my maternal grandmother, "Mamom", taught me the delights of simple meals which celebrated the advent of the harvests of her garden. Some evenings we feasted on a hearty salad of whatever we picked from the 'salad garden', and some mornings I awoke to the breakfast treat of an enormous homemade biscuit covered with fresh strawberries. There were meals that consisted entirely of freshly picked corn on the cob, and tomatoes plucked right from the vine.
Mamom generally believed that a proper supper consisted of meat and potatoes and several veggies and a salad and all the trimmings. Oh, but these harvest suppers were special . . . . a celebration of whatever was ripe and ready to picked and enjoyed to the fullest.
Our own yard was surrounded by an unusual hedge of cherry bushes. I have never seen anything like these since my childhood, and no one seems to remember where they came from, or what their proper name is! They flowered in the late spring and produced a wild cherry, shaped like a tiny pumpkin. There were three distinct flavors and colors among these cherries -
a purpley-black, an orangey gold, and a dark red, each one temptingly juicy and sweet.
We grew huge avocados . . . . football size, I tell you!
The seed alone in our avocados was larger than an entire California avocado is. People think I exaggerate when I tell of these avocados - but they are incredible.
Our neighbors and friends at church grew oranges and tangerines and lemons and limes . . . . and grandmas on both sides of the family had prolific banana trees in their back yards. It seems now, that I grew up in a veritable Garden of Eden
My father's parents, "Granny" and "Grandaddy", made an annual pilgrimage from where we lived, back to where they grew up, (we're talking deep south, here), each summer, to see their relatives. I eagerly awaited their return from this journey, knowing they carried treasure home with them. The entire back seat of that old car was packed with such wonderful things! There were brown sacks filled with the world's sweetest peaches, and huge heavy burlap bags of pecans. I can taste those peaches, right now!
I miss those grandparents. It makes me want to focus more on what I'm doing with
my own grandchildren. I guess a trip to the Farmer's Market is in order!
Happy summer tasting!

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