I grew up in raspberry country. Otherwise known as Western Washington. The fields were perfectly stacked with rows of raspberry bushes creating a dizzying pattern as I stared out the window of our old station wagon (complete with exterior wood paneling).
Growing up around here it was expected that once you hit a certain age you would be spending your Summers under the hot sun in the raspberry fields, endlessly picking. And for my brothers and I there were no exceptions, especially considering our Aunt and Uncle owned a small raspberry farm.
I made $5 that Summer.
This was due to the fact that my cousin, who lived on the farm, would often take me away from my picking duties so I could come play with her some place other than the raspberry fields. But mostly it was because I could not stand to pick the perfectly tart and sweet berries that scream all that is good with Summer and put them in my bucket. I thought it such a shame for them to land *plunk* against the white plastic pail rather than in my mouth so that their red juices could stain my too-young-to-wear-lipstick lips.
Flash forward twenty years to where I now revel in the delight of picking berries but still can’t resist popping a few into my mouth.
Knowing that the bounty would inevitably be small I still thought it would be fun to take my 3 year old and 1 year old berry picking a couple of weeks ago. That day we were hunting strawberries. After about 10 minutes of picking the boys were showing signs of being ready to go (i.e. screaming, whining, kicking dirt, etc.)
We headed into the barn to pay for our nearly 30 berries and that’s when I spotted them – the season’s first raspberries. My inner 8 year old self squealed with joy and grabbed a flat without hesitation. (I also walked away with 3 flats of jam berries that are now canned and waiting for me to relive the Summer’s harvest in the dead of Winter).
The raspberries that didn’t end up in my mouth joined the meager bounty of freshly picked strawberries in a bowl mixed with fresh mint, Greek yogurt and honey. Becoming the best fruit salad I have ever tasted.
Simply toss several pints of both raspberries and sliced strawberries into a bowl. Add just enough Greek yogurt to give the berries a sleek, white coat. Add finely sliced fresh mint and drizzle with honey until you deem sweet enough.
The success of this salad depends on the quality of the berries. Choose wisely and resist the urge to eat them all before they end up in this dish. Your discipline will be well rewarded.
A few from my fellow Raspberry Fans: