You know how when you buy strawberries from the grocery store, they look big, red and juicy on the outside, but when you slice them, they have a white, hard core? It’s because they pick them when they aren’t quite ripe, put them in a truck, and spray them with red food dye while they are shipped across the country.
These are not those strawberries.
I’m back home in Maryland for the weekend for my sister’s graduation from UMBC School of Social Work (Yay Colby!). I arrived after midnight last night, and not having eaten dinner, I went straight to the kitchen for some food.
Mom hovered over me in the kitchen. “We have almond cookies, and cereal, lots of cereal.” I opted for cereal and poured myself some Kashi. Then I saw it. A big basket of small, fresh-picked strawberries.
“Are those from the garden?”
“Yup, I picked them today,” Mom said. She picked a choice few out, sliced them up, and put them on top of my cereal. I was seriously surprised when I took my first bite at the bright pop of flavor on my tongue.
They’re Steve’s, my step-dad’s, strawberries. Here’s a comprehensive list, in his own words, of all his vegetables that he’s growing behind our house:
Garlic (planted in October, it overwinters)
1 lb Chesnook Red
1 lb Siberian Marbled
2 Jalapeno (hot)
2 Carmen (sweet; new this year)
2 Golden Bell (sweet)
2 Red Beauty (sweet)
1 Laparie (sweet; new this year)
x Jimmy Nardello (sweet; can’t find any around here, so I ordered a pack of seeds)
Black Seeded Simpson (leaf)
Red Sails (leaf)
Salad Bowl Blend (leaf – a two part arugula mix)
Rouge d’Hiver (sweet red romaine)
Marvel of the Four Seasons (butterhead; new this year)
Spinach – Bordeaux (there are two families of spinach – I forget the names, but this is part of the family mom likes)
Tomatos – 6 Brandywine (heirloom; mom won’t let me grow anything else)
Beans – 8 Tavera filet
Peas – Oregon Sugar Pod
Carrots – Scarlet Nantes
I told him that I want some of the garlic when I get back in town this summer. You can stick a head in the oven, roast it, and then spread it on bread for a delicious treat. Yum!