Thursday, June 11, 2009

Making up for lost time....

It's true what they say about your tastes changing as you get older—not just your preferences, but your actual sense of taste. I was a bit of a picky eater when I was a kid*, and even into my twenties I had a long list of fruits and veggies I didn't really care for. A few of those foods I now really enjoy, like spinach (raw), tomatoes, blueberries, honeydew melon, and onion (although I can't eat it raw). My biggest conversion, though, has been into an eater of strawberries.

When I was growing up, my folks kept a strawberry patch along with the huge garden on their property. There were many nights when we had strawberry shortcake for dinner: a tasty shortcake, warm from the oven, covered with crushed strawberries that had been lightly sweetened. I'd eat the shortcake happily, but avoided the strawberries, unless I could get some pulpless juice to put on one corner. I wasn't wild about the taste of strawberries, but I especially disliked the texture and would pick off any threads of berries that got caught on my shortcake.

Well, things are a bit different now. I learned to appreciate strawberries the way I learned to enjoy several other fruits: mixed in a fruit salad, or even dipped in chocolate. A few years ago we stayed at this wonderful B&B in Arizona and they served a delicious breakfast dish that was berries, yogurt, and granola. I liked it so much I started making it at home. I found other uses for strawberries, like making a tasty dessert with angel food cake, yogurt, whipped cream, and berries. When they got a little mushy, I'd freeze them and use them in smoothies. Take a can of fruit (peaches, pineapple, even pears), a big handful of frozen strawberries, and a little fruit juice, and you can blend up a tasty tasty extra big serving of fruit. (I'm not sure where rum falls on the food pyramid, but sometimes I add a little of that to the smoothie as well.)

So when my mom asked me to pick her strawberry patch while my folks were out of town, I said sure. Here's my share of today's haul, which I split with my cousin. I've got maybe 9 or 10 quarts of strawberries, and I'm going to have some with honeydew for my afternoon snack, berries and yogurt for breakfast, a few quarts to contribute to my TKD team ice cream social tomorrow, and some to freeze. In any case, I've still got quite a few more strawberries to eat to make up for the first 35 or so years of my life, when I didn't eat my share.

*My mom might take issue with the "a bit of" qualifier, but I was never as bad as some kids I've met who wouldn't eat macaroni and cheese because the pasta was the "wrong shape." I just knew what I didn't like, and that list included quite a few things.


  1. Sharon BlankenshipJune 11, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    If you don't eat your brussels sprouts because you say they taste like soggy grass or your asparagus because you tell your mom it tastes like pee, you are deemed hopelessly deficient as a kid who will try anything and labeled a "picky eater." Or mushrooms. UGH. Who could eat a fungus?

  2. Sharon - Brussels sprouts still taste like soggy grass, and smell worse, but I want to know, how do you know what pee tastes like.
    Diane - Are there going to be any berries left by the time we get home next week? Have you been able to freeze any more for us? And do you have a good recipe for shortcake?

  3. Sharon: exactly. And you're right, who could eat something that grows off of dead stuff?

    Mom: Yes (still seeing flowers and green berries); not yet (still dealing with 10 quarts I brought home yesterday); no.

  4. Sharon BlankenshipJune 12, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    Hello! I had baby boys. I've changed their diapers. I KNOW what pee tastes like. :oP