by Robert Lee Frost
"You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson's pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!"
What is it with berries? The supermarkets are full of them. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are standard fare in the big chains not just the farmers markets or roadside stalls. Not so when I was growing up. There was a time when they were a rarity. I'd pick mulberries from the tree in my grandparent's back yard and we had a few measley strawberry plants in our own vegie patch. These days however, we can recreate some an English pastoral scene in the kitchen with bountiful punnets of berries... at three dollars a pop, or less. (Perhaps not so cheap for raspberries, the most delicate of all the Rubus genus.)
In fact, our 2011-12 summer dessert hit has been pavlova shells stuffed with mixed berry goodness and chopped kiwi fruit, topped with Gippsland double cream and syrupy passionfruit. Look what Not Quite Nigella has to say on the topic. I haven't been brave enough to make my own pavlova just yet but I feel the need to do so some time soon.
Our smoothie of choice this season has been a creamy concoction of frozen berries, milk and yoghurt. It makes an impressive sight in a long, tall glass with a couple of bent straws and a parfait spoon. Yum. Sluuurrrrp-able! The folk at Creative Gourmet (Australian suppliers of frozen berries)* have a neat website with plenty of mouth-watering recipes the kids would go ape over. Just as well we keep the freezer well stocked with the frozen variety so we always have a box on hand when we feel a berry craving coming over us.
* Not sponsored. My own views. :o)