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joyous giant berries

By 11:04 PM , , ,

I don't know what it is about this summer, but berries have never tasted better. They're sweet like candy, fragrant to the point where you think they're faking it – flavorful beyond compare. And look at the size of these honkers. I've never seen blueberries this huge. They're like grapes. And contrary to the belief that bigger isn't better when it comes to produce, they're not any less enjoyable than their more compact peers.

I fondly recall my friend Bruno from France, as I munch on these giant berries. Years ago, when I served him grilled portobello mushrooms at a BBQ, he looked at it (and me) with horror, like I was trying to serve him a grilled human baby. He'd never seen a mushroom that size and thought that it was genetically modified in Dr. Evil's lab, which involved irradiation and nuclear energy. He practically ran from the table and there was no convincing him that it was safe to consume. This, from a Frenchman who eats dirt balls (truffles), fatty entrails (foie gras), and slugs (escargot). We are still friends, but we could not bridge that cultural gap that summer. It's a good thing he wasn't around to see this year's crop of berries.

Even during a slump year, for some reason, dark berries (blackberries, blueberries) are much more forgiving than their red counterparts (raspberries, strawberries), in terms of slack factor. I could easily keep eating a bowl of cereal that has a bunch of dark berries that are under-performing, but give me a red berry that's not bringing its A-game to the table, all has gone to shit. That really yanks my chain; I become so incensed that I want to throw the bowl across the kitchen.

Therefore, I conclude that "red" berries are like first-borns in a family. We expect them to be number one at everything, sports, grades, looks, etc. and we want them to go to an Ivy League and start their own practice and take care of us when we're old, hence we are seriously disappointed when they miss their mark. On the other hand, "blue" berries are the babies of the family. They can do no wrong and average or below is perfectly fine by us. They can go to a community college and not graduate, we constantly lend them money they'll never repay and we let them live at home until they're 38.

Anyway, the good news is, this year is a banner year for berries across the board, red, black, blue, yellow, you name it. Hurray to berries; no bowl tossing tantrums in my home. Eat up, folks.
Yes,  I often play with my food and photograph them like they're close family members; it's because they're so beautiful they give me a reason to celebrate the very little things everyday.
The smaller berry is the standard size and the giant "Dr. Evil" one is at least 2.5 times larger than it.
C'mon, this is a legitimate cause for a celebration.


I walked into the bedroom one night to find this strawberry lying in the middle of the floor. After a few seconds of confusion, I deduced that the cats have taken to playing with the season's bounty also. How they got it off the kitchen counter and carried it into the next room to play soccer, I would have liked to witness.

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