May 21, 2010

Home SWEET Home

Let me tell you what I miss about California:

  • In N Out. badly.
  • My Diet Coke drinking buddies (you know who you are)
  • Janet's organ playing
  • Saladang Thai restaurant
  • Potluck dinners with my college friends and their families
  • Normal-sized bugs
  • The hole-in-the-wall produce store on Lake Ave
  • Being able to call our Altadena home "home"
  • Diddy Reese ice cream & cookie sandwiches
  • A temple that does sessions during the day
  • Year-round herb garden
  • Keeping up with my bad Spanish
  • Settlers nights with my crew
I've written about lots of things here that I very much enjoy, most recently $2.39 milkshakes (and they're big! I can't get over it!). The walking trail near our house has been keeping me from gaining too much weight this pregnancy, the amount of green here is insane, our airport is 15 min from our door (and that's driving the speed limit), and it's so easy to make lifelong friends here because the people are so fantastic.

But until last week, those still weren't reasons compelling enough to put our roots down and call this place home. For last week we discovered pick-your-own strawberry patches.

That's not a stock photo! That represents one fifth of the berries we picked together one afternoon, and I didn't put all the good-looking ones together. They ALL looked that good. Juicy, ready to rupture in your mouth, no white tips or tartness, dark red all the way up to the tops. They are what strawberries were meant to taste like.

So often I have walked right past the display of strawberries in grocery stores because they have seldom lived up to my expectations. I have needed them to make pies and such, but those are only good because so many get pureed or chopped and covered with sugary goodness. Not necessary with these. These are...phenomenal.

Tessa knows the goods when she sees them.

But this is how she really felt. Give. me. that. BERRY!!!!

My favorite Mexican-in-training. Each of those buckets held almost 10 pounds. We filled two of them for $1.35/lb. Worth every penny.

And his little helper (I caught her chomping on half-eaten ones in the dirt):

After washing and sorting them for jam, snacking, freezing, pureeing, desserts, etc, we gave Tessa as many as she wanted. Well, we stopped her at about 25. She could have gone all night. Her bib looked like she just got out of an ER.

This was my favorite. I put her in her high chair the next morning while I went to do something or other. As I walked back I heard the familiar sound of something sliding around on the table behind her (she does it when she gets bored). I grabbed my camera and caught this:

Notice the dribbles down the front. She'd already attacked the flat I left out to dry. Just ate them whole, greens and all.

I already made loads of freezer jam, a very delectable dessert (poorly dubbed "Strawberry Delight" - I shudder whenever the word "delight" is in a food title. It's like naming your kid Chastity and then watching them grow up to be a total skank), and tomorrow I'll post what I concocted today. Just a hint: they made me shudder. North Carolina, you are doing your part in keeping me here.


Melanie said...

ummm, where is this $2.39 milkshake you speak of? L.O.V.E those strawberries. I have a flat right now in my fridge I'm considering your delicious strawberry pie... yummmmm. Miss you, lets get together soon.

Melissa said...

Haha, and a big thanks for sharing the "Strawberry Delight' AND the fabulous other delight with us last week. You guys are the best!

Twin Tables said...

i so know what you mean about leaving So Cal. I miss many things as well. I am in WA now and I miss the sun. Good luck on your adjustment and cute kid!

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...