At my home we have a gully with a small foot bridge over it. In that gully are thick brambles of raspberries. This is ambrosia and manna; especially when one considers that raspberries sell for 5.00 a pint here. So every other day, I take my berry bucket; fashioned from an old yogurt container and a piece of string, and brave the muck of the gully and the hunger of the mosquitos to fill my quart up.
At this time of year, this one small act becomes a time of meditation and inspiration for me. How can it not be? The sun shines through leaves, the berries hang like jewels from ladies ears. Excitement builds when the simple act of picking one berry and putting it in the bucket over and over fills the bucket. A simple pleasure.
I freeze these berries. They are small and the effort to acquire what I hope will be 7-10 quarts of free food will take several weeks to collect. There will never be enough berries at one time to make a batch of jam or a jug of wine. But they will brighten up muffins and pancakes this coming winter.
The local family farm stand has U-pick raspberries. They are selling them for 4.00 a quart. So today the boys and I went to pick 6 quarts of the BIGGEST raspberries I have ever seen. The berries were in the field. Three long tall rows.
Teen was working his way down one side of a row while I worked myself down the other side. The wee one would run between Teen and me, gleaning a berry from our quarts at each pass. When he came to me, he would say, " Tristan gave me a berry." I would say,"He is a generous brother." This went on about 10 ten times when finally when it was my time to say "he is a generous brother" the wee one responded," Yes, he is a cantelope brother!"
I have made a batch of Raspberry wine. Soon it will be decanted into a glass gallon jug. Tomorrow I will make a batch or Raspberry Jelly. I look forward to spreading on toast this winter with the memories of this day and my wee one's very " cantelope brother".