Summer Plate

Fruit fruit fruit

Summertime is fruit time as far as I’m concerned. And while this watermelon came from Mexico and the mango came from God knows where and they both grow there year-round no matter what, Stew did get me these local North Carolina strawberries. Their presence on my plate signals that despite it being April and despite me still taking finals and also despite the fact that I don’t know the actual first day of summer… summer is, in fact, here.

I missed strawberry season last year–what with the quitting my job and going back to school and moving and you know. But this year I am determined to pick my own. My mom used to grow strawberries in her garden and she took us to pick at bigger farms, too. Come to think of it, we had a lot of harvest-centric outings as kids: apples, strawberries, blueberries… CORN. Oh man, nothing is better than making a stop at the corn stand. You know, the kind where no on is there and you just leave your money in a box on the counter. The honor system at its finest.

PS - This is what food looks like under a flash. Pleh.

I didn’t love Illinois while I was there. But once I was in college 850 miles away I realized that what I missed most about my former home was the sky. Some people love mountains. Some people love the coast. I guess most people don’t think the flatlands have all that much to offer in terms of terrain. But what they don’t realize–and what I didn’t until I was gone–is that the beauty of the midwest isn’t about the landscape. It’s about the way the low flat open fields bring the sky right down to you.

5 thoughts on “Summer Plate

  1. I agree with you about Illinois on all counts… I didn’t love it when I was there. Even at 10 I knew there was a much bigger world out there that I wanted to experience. I think had I not moved away when I did, I would have a very different, very small life. However, that being said – I love going back to visit my Gram and the rest of my extended family. It sounds cliché to say, but life is so calm and peaceful there.
    I’ll be back there in June – and will stand at the edge of a cornfield and look up at the sky!


  2. Hi! I just started reading your blog, and I’m loving it :)

    I just ate my first watermelon of the year, and it really brought me to summer. Watermelon really is my favorite fruit. Hope you get to pick those strawberries this year!

  3. I know what you mean. West Texas is the same. The sky is enormous, and the sunsets are spectacular. When you grow up here, you get nervous and claustrophobic when you go somewhere else and the view is blocked by trees! Also: love, love, love fresh corn. One of the happiest days of summer is when it first shows up at the local farmers’ market.

  4. Oh yes. Here in the middle of the FLATEST part of IL, we love our sky…AND our strawberry season (several more weeks away. The two best parts of my day are walking my dog in the morning while the sun peaks up from the ground and then again in the evening when the sky is the most glorious shades of blue, pink, and orange. While I truly hate our wind…I equally love the sky in central IL. Thank you for making me aware of its beauty.

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