I have been very fortunate in that growing up my mother always gardened. She and her father religiously prepared the seeds every fall for any gardening projects they anticipated for the following year, and never failed to produce anything short of baskets full of peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, chilis, squashes, bitter melons, and herbs. Funny how I never appreciated the labor of love they had for the garden. As I approach the beginning of last year in my 20’s, it’s only natural to reflect on how my 29th year on this planet is VERY different than that my mother’s 29th year. By then she had a mature green thumb, while I have yet to successfully harvest a vegetable I planted and nurtured myself. Although my accomplishments are my own and her’s I hope to live up to, my appreciation for gardening and farm-to-table never ceases to end. The awareness that restaurants devote their efforts to ensuring they serve patrons sustainable and organic produce is a wonderful model for us to adapt in our own kitchens. I understand that having the time, money, and space to garden these days is a luxury in many ways, which is why finding U-pick farms around the lower mainland is like hitting jackpot. My own ignorance kept me from taking advantage of this opportunity last year but this year I’ve started early.
A recent trip to a U-Pick farm in Abbotsford has left me nothing short of inspired. The 360 degrees of scenic land is breath taking with the distraction of sun-rippened berries. Seriously, have you tasted a sweet, juicy, ripe berry picked right off the bush on a hot day? The experience is overwhelming and entirely humbling. Coming home with close to 20lbs of strawberries and raspberries wasn’t enough since we realized our cherry tree was only a few days short of being devoured by birds ready to feast on the little pops of red peeping through the leaves.
I 100% agree with the fact that the best way to enjoy fresh produce is simply as is, but there is no harm in adding the any of the four elements Michael Pollan talks about in Cooked on Netflix- I’m obsessed with that series. Although I intend on experimenting with different recipes of jams, ice-creams, smoothies, and savory recipes with the cherries and berries, enjoying them for what they are remains number one on my to-do list…
with some chocolate today! I heated about 2 table spoons of cream in the microwave for 25 seconds and tired in 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips until the chocolate was smooth and luscious.