Blog? Dang – Wednesday already? We got nuthin’.
Well, just use whatever comes to mind.
Okay, well… Let’s see. There’s a pie plate there on the counter…
June has arrived and brought with it another one of our best-loved things! No, I’m not talking about the nicer weather, although I do enjoy that. Or the longer days, which I also greatly enjoy.
I am referring to the Strawberry picking season! Long Island Strawberries are delectable!
I’m not sure why I enjoy picking, but I look forward to it each year. In spite of the ticks, the occasional snake, the bending and the sun. As a child, my Mom always took us picking. As a Mom I always took my children picking. Perhaps that is a piece of what I enjoy. I have fond memories of time spent with friends and relatives in a strawberry field. Yes I realize I can ‘pick’ them at the local farm stand and I have done so in a pinch, but I prefer to choose them individually.
Um, history blog. Let’s see. Oh!
According to an 1894 newspaper article detailing strawberry recipes, ‘strawberries are at their best when the cook has not tampered with them.” These lovely little heart-shaped gems are just delicious. They are easy to pick and easy to enjoy. Although they make great pies – with or without rhubarb – jams, jellies, souffles and of course short-cake, there is nothing better than a bowl with some fresh berries and cream, or your dairy product of choice. You can also find numerous references to Strawberries festivals and other strawberry themed events throughout the area.
Okay, more history. How about…
Strawberries have been around for hundreds of years, and once considered a symbol of Venus – the Goddess of Love. It is believed that they were first cultivated in the 14th century. The Romans believed these berries were helpful for a variety of ailments, melancholy, fainting, inflammation, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, halitosis, gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen. Eat up. You never know. The name is attributed to either the fact that the plants send out runners that resemble straw, or the use of straw as bedding around growing berries. A member of the rose family, these berries earned a bad reputation for a while, thanks to their low growing habits. The fear of snakes, toads or other slippery slithery creatures kept people away. When the English arrived in the New World, they were surprised to find that the Indians had cultivated a larger, tastier wild berry. Plants of which they shipped back to the Old World by the hundreds.
1936 – Local history now. Geez. Maybe…
The area by Montauk Hwy and Gravel Hill Road was referred to as Strawberry Hill. We can’t swear to the reason for this reference, but we’d hazard a guess that strawberries grew well there, hence the name. For some graduates of Hampton Bays Schools, these tasty morsels remind them of Biology. Curious you say? Well, much-loved Biology teacher Alice Squires would bake a plethora of this culinary delight and the students were grateful. Any wonder she was a favorite teacher?
Oh and, by the way, tonight is the Strawberry Moon!