The raspberry bushes at my neighbor’s house in Wyoming flourish rapidly and unyieldingly in August, when my neighbors aren’t even around. My mother and I, overcome with fear at the idea of wasting any of the sweet and refreshing berries, trudge over to the bushes twice a day in August to crouch in between the scratchy bushes, crawling and peering up underneath the leaves to pluck the sweet morsels from their stems. We fill multiple tupperware twice a day, and accumulate massive amounts of berries in our fridge. Containers of berries line our kitchen table, where my family picks at them throughout the day. Unable to consume them all, we freeze a large amount of berries still. At Christmas time, I turn those berries into a pie (after my mom taught me the secret to the best pie crust a few years ago), and my family gets to enjoy the sweetness of our home-picked fruit, months after it grew on the vine.
This is one of my favorite food memories. I’ve loved finding appreciation in the time it takes to find and pick the most delicious food, and I’ve loved learning from my mom how to best use all of the fruit, from the picking stage to the freezing and processing stage, turning the excess of berries into a number of different baked goods and berry compotes. Most of all I love that the experience has given me time with my mom, to pick, cook and learn with her.