When, a couple of weekends ago, Sunday delivered 26 warm and sunny degrees, we headed north-west to a farm in a village on the other side of the Nord-Ostsee Kanal. It is strawberry season up here, a season vastly preferred to the one that precedes it – Spargelzeit – and one that means summer with all of its strawberry cake and Erdbeerbowlen is here. (The thing is, the weather up here throughout May and June is so temperamental and indecisive, that sometimes you need to look to markers other than the sky to assure you of seasons.)
Strawberries at this time of year are the reddest, fattest, juiciest things, often times the size of golfballs. They are so ruby ripe you have to eat them within a day or two of picking or purchasing, otherwise they turn. This is not a problem for my son, who would eat 1kg in one sitting if I let him (his sister is more the raspberry type).
We went a bit rogue at the strawberry patch and began (unintentionally) picking in an area not yet open, which meant for a few blessed moments we had access to vast bunches of untouched berries. But even once we joined the hoi polloi and continued picking, there was an absolute glut. The toddler picked and ate, the baby just ate, and we took over half a kilo home with us (which, frankly, could have easily been a kilo but we practiced restraint).
Strawberry season has still got a few good weeks in it, so I have a feeling we’ll be back among the rows soon. And when we have gorged enough, it will be time for cherries, then raspberries and blueberries. Ah, summer, I do love you.