Les Fraises Fantastiques!

A Bowl of Summer

With summer upon us, one of my favorite things to eat is strawberries. There are different types of these little gems that you can find, and now you can have them freshly picked all summer! Here are a few reasons why they hold a special place on my plate.

Memory number one; my dad taking me to a u-pick every Canada Day! We would wake up at the crack of dawn and venture to the nearest u-pick in the Pontiac. Baskets in hand, we would go row by row, grabbing the biggest and juiciest strawberries that we could find. Three quarters of these berries made it into my mouth before the basket, and I would shyly tell the attendant that I never ate any! Stains on the front of my shirt told a different story! Home we would go, many baskets in tow, and sit on our front lawn to watch the annual parade. Best way to eat these red berries; heavy cream poured on top with a sprinkling of sugar!

Memory number two; the wild strawberry jam my dad’s client used to make! Those “fraise de bois” had to be meticulously hand picked, and were tiny, and it took thousands to make a jar, but oh man, was it ever worth it! My mother would call this jar “gold”, and we were only allowed a taste on rare occasions. Unfortunately, the lovely lady that produced these golden jars of red goodness passed away, and with her went the recipe!

Memory number three; my Grandmere’s strawberry “mousse”. Actually, I don’t even know if that is what you would call it, but she would take the ripest, reddest of the bunch and macerate them with some white sugar. Next, she would whip the living daylights out of some egg whites, add more sugar to make a meringue and fold in the macerated berries! It was billowy bliss!

My last memory is of my sweet little monster eating handful upon handful of  strawberries from the farmers’ market. Her grubby little hands picking up each berry and placing it ever so gingerly into her mouth before producing a sigh of contentment.

I recently returned home to Shawville, Quebec, and was able to re-live some of these precious moments with my family! Hope you take the time to indulge in these “fraises fantastiques” this summer, and make some memories of your own.

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The Random Rhubarb
The French Canadian Fantasy

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