Saturday, July 28

Day 210: Fresh Summer Berries

From the bush... to the bucket... to the table... 

Nearly everyone has experienced going to pick wild, fresh berries as a kid or adult. When I was a kid we used to go pick wild, blackberries. They grew along the railroad tracks and I can recall, with fond memories, the summer evenings my parents would take us and our empty buckets to pick berries. We usually returned home with buckets brimming full. The berries were washed and eaten in bowls with milk poured over and sugar sprinkled on top. I loved to drink the sweet, purple milk that was left at the bottom of the bowl. 

Here at the summer cottage there is an area up on the rocky hill behind the house where wild blackberries grow and then down by the house are a few planted bushes that grow krusbär, or gooseberries, and svart vinbär, or black currants. Just yesterday we finished the homemade krusbär jam that my husband's mother made earlier in the week and today I baked a yummy pie with the svart vinbär. Mums (Super yummy in Swedish)!

The first time I came here to visit Sweden with my husband, who was at that time my boyfriend, I remember picking and eating these berries right from the bush. He told me about when he was a kid and would spend the whole day playing outside. He would eat carrots and other vegetables from the garden after rinsing them off with the hose and he snacked on the berries throughout the day. 

It reminded me of when I was eight or nine years old and we would visit one of my great aunts. She had the most wonderful cherry tomato plants growing in her back yard. I had never seen them before. They were the perfect size for my little hands and mouth and were amazingly sweet. I loved to feel them burst in my mouth when I sunk my teeth in them. There were always significantly less tomatoes on her plants after our visits. Of course, a little "thief" was eating them.

I don't know what it is about them but fresh summer berries and vegetables from the garden always taste better when brushed off or rinsed with the hose and eaten outside. Apparently wild blueberries grow in the forests around Stockholm and I plan to go on a berry picking adventure soon. 

Krusbär, or gooseberries on the bush...

Rinsed off and pretty, sitting in a blue bowl...

Svart vinbär, or black currants, ready to be picked and eaten...

Homemade pie with svart vinbär and wild raspberries and blackberries from Tjörn with a few added store bought blueberries for good measure.

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