Strawberries are close to the top of my list of favorite things ever. Like Bubba fixed shrimp in the movie Forrest Gump, we fix strawberries; strawberry shortcake, chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries over ice cream, strawberry smoothies, spinach and strawberry salad. I grew up in Arkansas and it’s hard to find better berries anywhere. In Arkansas it smells like heaven in May.
My dad would take my kids to Round Mountain in the spring to one of those you-pick-’em farms. I think he let them pick until they got tired. Over the years I’m sure he spent hundreds of dollars on strawberries. One year I think four year old Jill’s bucket weighed more than she did at the weigh-in.
I drove down in Arkansas to see my dad yesterday. He just finished up the batch of berries I bought off the back of a truck last week so I made it a point to look for a berry truck or stand on the highway. I slowed down by the unofficial car sales lot where I bought berries last week. The K-Mart parking lot is the best place to sell a car at home. This community didn’t have a K-Mart so that spot must be the place to sell everything. Last week strawberries, this week no strawberries, Yorkie puppies.
About 50 miles further south past Aunt Gertie’s Flea Market is a fruit and vegetable stand. We stopped in there a couple of weeks ago. The farmer was sold out but we did meet couple from a small town in Arkansas who were also looking for berries. We actually knew some of the same people. If we had talked long enough we might have found out we were related or at least may have know some of each other’s relatives.
Yesterday the farmer had about a dozen quarts of berries and they were the puniest looking strawberries I had ever seen. “Are these all the berries?” I asked. “Yep,” he answered and flashed me a toothless grin.
“Oh, wow, I was looking for some larger ones,” I said, disappointed.
He was quick to say, “It’s the end of the season, but these are the best berries we’ve had.”
“I think I’ll pass. Thank you though. It just doesn’t smell like heaven,” I said as I turned to walk out. “Well, Okay,” he said with a puzzled look as he scratched his head and spit tobacco juice in a paper cup.
I’ll got to Kroger this morning.