If you like to eat good food, then you have to eat with the seasons. Now it's strawberry season.
I made strawberry ice cream enough times to commit the recipe to memory.
And my wife is now an expert on the strawberry's many uses. At one point, our house smelled of fresh-made jam. Then, it smelled like pies.
The jam was so good our 7-year-old pleaded with us to let her spoon it straight from the jar into her mouth. We obliged.
If you like to eat good food, then you have to eat with the seasons. And it's strawberry season.
So, my wife took our daughters strawberry picking, and they returned with way more strawberries than seemed reasonable. The box was made of reinforced cardboard and had a metal handle.
But, we love these types of challenges. So, there wasn't a "why so many?" conversation. It was more of a "let's eat all of these before they go bad" mentality.
When I pass the fridge, I reach in and eat one. It has become such a habit, I know one day soon I'll go to reach for one and there won't be any left. I'll be sticking my hand in the butter.
I made strawberry ice cream three times in one week. I wised up by the second run and added chocolate chips, too.
My wife made pies that didn't even cool before they were swiped off the window sill.
When I exercise lately, it's less about health or weight loss and more to maintain a balance with my strawberry intake.
Our whole family has spent two weeks eating strawberries like we were trying to win a contest.
And the box still is half full.
I guess you could call this one of those good problems. Still, it kind of feels like when you are almost done raking the leaves and the wind picks up and covers the yard again.
For years we have done farm co-ops in the summer, where every week or two, we get a huge bundle of produce. You get whatever is ready to be picked. I love the randomness of it and the culinary challenge of how to make good food with it. It's like being on a cooking competition TV show, except in the end, the judges always hate your dish because they wanted hot dogs instead.
And you can really taste the difference in the food. The first time I had a farm-fresh radish, my eyes watered from the spice of it.
That's not to say there isn't a down side.
"I hope you like eating kale," my father-in-law has said more than once when the subject comes up. He does not, but he ate it anyway.
Kale or not, we do it because it's fun.
We made our first pick up of the season recently. The green onions were so big, at first we wondered if it was a small leek. All the produce in the bag was like that.
Oh, and we got a pint of strawberries, too.
It wasn't quite the breaking point, but it was close enough. So when my wife said she was going to freeze the rest of the strawberries, I made no argument.
We agreed, it was a successful season, and also that the season was definitely over.
Reach Dave at 330-580-8490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @DaveManley