Come out! Pick berries! Find the woods!
The early morning scents and sounds pass through the screens of the open windows. The scents of fresh cleaned leaves from last night’s rain as they warm in the early morning sun. The mown grass. And ripening. The sounds of the bird calls. They are so gabby in the early morning. Insistent. Who else is up? Oh, here come Judge! He wants to go out. Smell the smells, always better in the spring, always something new to discover.
We walked through the woods behind the house last evening. The currents are ready to be picked. The escaped red cherries are getting ripe. A bumper crop. The escaped raspberries too. Rushing to pop! The great mullein is 6 feet tall now, about to bloom! Reaching for the sun! Urgency in the air. Now. Summer. Get it. Get the warmth. Get the sun. Pull it in. Send it deep. Soon summer is gone. The days are long. The time of long days is short. Capture it, savor it, store it.
I would wake up to the cedar outside the window. I would pull on shorts. Button a blouse. Pull on my socks. Tie my shoes. Walk down the winding stairs. Come into the quiet kitchen. Go out to the back room. Get a berry basket. Line it with a piece of newspaper. Out to the berry bushes still sparkling with the heavy dew catching the early sun. Me, birds in the trees, dog off and away. Each berry, telling me it is ripe by the easy slip off its core. Black raspberries. The best! A full basket. Back into the kitchen. Slip the cheerios out of the cupboard. The cascade into the bowl. Berries on top, mounds of berries. And then milk till you can see it through the cheerios and berries. Dig the spoon through the berries. The crisp cereal, the sweet berries. And the purple tinged milk in the bottom of the bowl at the end? I am alone in the kitchen. Pick up the bowl with both hands. Drink up!
A long read of the Funnies postpones the urgency. A plan for the day. A hike? A bike ride? Friends over? Reading in a secret place? A clubhouse meeting? Relax, it is a long summer.
I can’t say that to myself today. Summers fly by with a blink of an eye. We might be missing the currants. The birds might beat us to them. And the elderberries! The birds got the whole crop last year. This long day of promise will be gone. I have to capture its bits and pieces. Capture the sun in the sheets on the line. Capture the currants in jelly, the elderberries too. Capture the garlic scapes in pesto.
I will give you the garlic pesto recipe and then go read the funnies. The ambition is overwhelming me!
Garlic Scape Pesto
Chop up garlic scapes in 1 inch chunks to make 1 cup. You can use the whole scape if it is all tender. Put the scapes in the food processor and blend till smooth. Add 1/4 cup of nuts, pine nuts or walnuts. Blend a bit. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of cubed Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of basil you have just pinched from the garden. Blend it all till smooth. Save some pretty new leaves to put on top of the finished pesto. Boil some pasta and spoon on as much pesto as you would like. You will relive the early summer day with each forkful. Keep what is extra in the fridge with a little olive oil poured on top. Warm it gently to room temperature and serve it again.