Friday, July 28, 2006


This weekend, I am playing hostess for a friend’s wedding. My duties entail the overseeing and replenishing of food at the rehearsal dinner and the reception. The only things I actually have to prepare are fruit trays and one vegetable tray—the latter of which, I hesitated to tell the bride, will primarily be for decoration. In my extensive experience, veggie trays are most often passed and picked over.

The fruit trays are an entirely different matter. I am elbows deep in parsley and kale garnish, fresh berries and whole melons. So far, I have discovered I cannot figure out how to cut up a whole pineapple and I cannot dissuade the bride from including apples. “They’ll get brown,” I’ve been muttering. She suggested a lemon juice fix. I begrudgingly picked up a canister of Fruit Fresh.

She also wants lots of strawberries—she heard I was particularly creative with those. And I am. I make a really good strawberry shortcake and strawberry pound cake—both from scratch. I can make homemade strawberry ice cream without the mix. I can whip up a really good cream cheese based or peanut butter fudge dip for them. I can decorate whole strawberries with white chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut, crushed nuts, and caramel. In other words, I spend much of my food prep life on strawberries.

And I’ve realized, I don’t particularly like them. They’re rarely sweet enough. The seeds are annoying. They get mushy and moldy at the grocery store. They’re small and hard to work with. I don’t know how the hell they became my “thing.”

There’s a metaphor for my life in there somewhere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Visit Quinn in Cascadia some late-May-early-June: see why strawberries had culinary traditions built around them back in the old days, before industrial farming and breeding-for color and shippability took over ...

They can be good. They can be VERY VERY good. So good that during the short native season, that's the only fruit I want to eat.

Shippable strawberries aren't worth buying, though, I have to agree. Simetimes the color snookers me anyhow ... always so disappointing.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...