We made it over to Bayfield to go raspberry picking a couple weeks ago (I can’t believe that was already a couple weeks ago. Oi.). The fruit farms along the south shore of Lake Superior produce spectacular berries and apples – it’s a completely different climate than here on the north shore – and this year seems to be particularly good for berries. The raspberry and blueberry bushes were dripping with fruit. I often say (maybe a little too often; I’m developing a habit of repeating myself) that I must have a strong gatherer gene. No hunter, all gatherer here! I can’t walk or run (or even bike or very nearly even drive for that matter) past a berry bush laden with ripe berries and not pause to grab a few. Plunked into the middle of a berry patch, I find it hard to stop picking. There’s always just one more beautiful berry, just one more arm’s length away that absolutely has to be picked.
Now as I think about it though, I wonder how much of it is gathering instinct and how much of it is quite simply that I love to stuff my face – unceremoniously, vigorously, messily, juicily, unrelentingly, as fast as possible barely stopping to breath – with perfectly fresh berries. I just love berries.
Espen seems to have the same predilection. It was impossible to get anything picked with him there because he was on patrol, crawling freakishly fast (he’s like a little monkey child!) up and down the rows of raspberry bushes just waiting, waiting for you to set down the container you were putting berries into, and then he’d pounce. Red-berry-stained-mouth-lightening-baby! and grab all the berries in the container by the fistful and shove them into his mouth, eyes gleaming. So, you had to pick without ever setting down your container.
Normally, I’d be jamming berries into my mouth just as fast as my baby-child, except this was a work trip, and we were picking raspberries to go into an experimental gin infusion. I wanted to eat the flats of berries so badly (raspberries are my FAVORITE berry). And, I did steal a heaping cupful to bake a mini schlumpf. But, most of them went into gin. BIG BUMMER! (Until said gin is ready, and then I have a feeling it will be the opposite of a big bummer.) Fear not, however, for after that berry picking excursion, I made a point of buying many, many pints of raspberries for personal use. Espen and I have been fighting over them. If I try to sneak a few as a snack, he starts bouncing up and down and waving, and then points emphatically at the berry I’m trying to hide in my hand and yells, “Dat! Dat!” until I give him some of his own. We make for a gluttonous pair. Poor Joel has only gotten to eat, like, 5 raspberries.