Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More fruit than fast

Eastside Road, August 3, 2011—
IT ISN'T EASY to follow the fast we'd chosen, not in the summertime. Not because we're hungry all the time: hot weather has a way of lessening appetite, even if you're working out a bit. But because there's all this delicious fruit to be eaten. Peaches, melons, blackberries…

We're blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, with all these blackberry bushes. When I was a kid the whole family used to go out berrying once a week in season; I remember picking berries into a three-gallon milk bucket. Of course you didn't pick it completely full, but still: two gallons times four pickers, that's a lot of berries. Pie, jam, and canned berries for the winter.

Here I'm content to pick a pint or so at a time, and even then we don't always keep up. I last picked on Sunday; here it is Wednesday. The berries we had tonight had been in the refrigerator all this time, yet they were just beginning to ferment — you could definitely taste the alcohol. That's another thing we set aside on these fast days, alcohol: but when you eat fresh fruit, you take your chances…

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