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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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strawberry

Stream of Conscious – flash fiction

    This will probably be the last year I come to pick strawberries. It isn’t the same doing it alone. I remember the fun we had when I brought my kids here and then their children. Now, no one is interested in coming along. I wonder if I would hear about it if I didn’t make preserves for each of them anymore. Good thing I still have my mint bed, they do show up the day before they have a party to raid that so they have fresh mint for making mojitoes. Maybe I could make mint jelly next year.

In response to Charli Mills May 30, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes strawberries and mint. The combination evokes color contrast, scents, and taste. Where will the combination take you? Go where the prompt leads!

Tis The Season

It’s National Strawberry Sundae Day. In western New York state, we are at the peak of strawberry season. I like to drive by the fields and see the people crouched down to pick their own strawberries. The plants grow very close to the ground so picking them can be as painful as it is rewarding. I admit, we don’t pick our own anymore.

Growing up my family preferred strawberry shortcake. My mother would make a fresh buttermilk biscuit the size of a round cake pan. Once it was cool enough to handle she would flop it into one of her hands, then carefully slice it in half crosswise. The bottom half would go on a large plate. She would slather it with butter then cover it with fresh smashed strawberries. Next she would turn the top of the biscuit upside down on the bottom layer so it too could absorb a layer of butter, then more strawberries would be poured on top of that. We always let it sit while making fresh whipped cream to top it with. The result was a gooey, yummy dessert, only enjoyed when there were fresh strawberries.

Currently my husband and I have a local farm we like to go to. They have a dessert stand and you can get either a strawberry sundae or shortcake. On a summer evening, there is nothing like berries on cold refreshing ice cream. They also have some goats in a pen near the stand, so we take the grandchildren and enjoy watching them pet and feed the goats. Goats also love strawberries but are happy with the long grass we can pick in a nearby ditch.

All too often these National Days have something to do with food, and I like food. I don’t usually think of a strawberry sundae at breakfast time, but I am today. I think Saturday will be a mandatory let’s go get a strawberry sundae event.

Smell Equals Taste

It’s National Strawberry Day. I’m a bit confused why this day falls in February, when strawberries ripen in the summer, but hey, it’s summer someplace. There are “tricks” to buying all sorts of fresh vegetables. The strawberry trick is, if it smells good, it will taste good. Try it next time you are at the grocery store or market.

Have you ever picked fresh strawberries?  The  plants are flush with the ground and one must squat to accomplish the task. When I was a child, it wasn’t so difficult. I wouldn’t even consider it now, as I carry a few extra pounds and have a bad back. We have some wonderful local strawberry farms where you can pick your own. We go when the berries are ripe to have an ice cream sundae, buy berries, and admire the people coming out of the fields with their filled flats and baskets. They always seem to be having a good time.

My grandchildren love strawberries as a snack. If I can find ripe ones, there is a bowl on the table to eat before the main family meal is ready. For my husband, at least one strawberry-rhubarb pie a summer is a requirement. Our only regret is the strawberry picking season doesn’t last long enough.

National Daiquiri Day

When you look up the National Day calendar, a lot of the days have more than one “thing” honored.  Today there is only one.  The daiquiri.  If nothing else, I will learn how to spell daiquiri.

Generally a daiquiri has strawberries, sugar and rum.  A Pina Colada is coconut milk, pineapple, sugar and rum.  I don’t know why it isn’t called a daiquiri.  Probably to make me ask silly questions.

In my early twenties, I lived for a time in Biloxi, Mississippi.  A refreshing strawberry daiquiri on a hot muggy day was a treat.  Blue Hawaiians were also popular.  They had rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice and sugar.  They were my favorite.  Served in a hurricane glass.  During the time I lived there, no hurricanes visited the shoreline.  I was lucky.

I remember the police clearing the beaches some afternoons because of the dangerous heat index.  I had a friend that was pregnant and when we went to the beach she would dig a hole for her growing belly, then lie on her stomach like the rest of us.  She told us the cool sand put the baby to sleep.

I miss those days.  I was young, innocent, not afraid of anything, and thought life would always be rosy.  Now I know how naïve I was, and life has given me way too much experience in unpleasant ways.  (Disenchantment, divorce, death, money problems, etc.)  On the up side, I now have the ammunition to be able to write about life and make it real.

A few years back I read an article that said a woman’s personality could be pegged by what she drank.  A woman who orders a strawberry daiquiri is a high maintenance person who wants her own way.  I haven’t ordered one since.  I wouldn’t want to give people the wrong impression.

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