My grandma gathered the dewberries in her stained apron and tasted a few to see how sweet they were. I went to wipe the sweat off of my forehead but my hands were full. My mom set the old metal bucket between us, in the lush weeds. I dropped in my bounty.
We picked until we had enough for two or three pies. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to taste them but by the time we had finished I had put several into my mouth. I looked closely at my hands and could see the juice had dyed my cuticles, like tiny purple rivers. The berries were so good and fresh, grown right by the road next to my grandparents’ farm. Sweeter for that reason I suppose.
I’d gone through that metal gate so many times before, never noticing the bushes that lined the road, fostering this glorious fruit. I was used to eating my grandma’s poppy seed kolaches (traditional Czech pastry) but that morning after we arrived she suggested we go berry picking. She had pie on the brain for supper. I was not one to argue.
I sat at the long farm table in the hot kitchen, fanning myself with the local paper, as I watched her roll out the dough for the pies. She worked so hard, always. Her legs were bowed and I rarely saw her without her apron. If she left the kitchen it was to go for some fresh eggs from the hens or something out of the garden. I think she slept in that kitchen on occasion. Her oven and stove seemed as if they were always on.
But today she’d ventured down by the gravel road with us, calling to the cows as she walked. I didn’t know until I was older that she wore wigs. I did, however know that just a little bit of beer could make her extra “happy”.
That afternoon, at supper, the dewberry pie was more than delicious. The homemade crust exploded with the berries, their juice and sugar. It was so warm and made from the heart and soul of my Grandmother’s kitchen. I was glad to have a second serving. I was grateful to see it made from the very beginning…
I don’t think I’ve eaten a dewberry since then. Perhaps I picked a few again around the farm but if so they definitely did not leave the same impression as the day my mother and grandma and I spent picking them for pie. And despite the chigger bites, it remains one of the dearest memories I have of the three of us together.
This post was written for this week’s RemembeRED post…
…write about your favorite fresh fruit or vegetable.
Share a memory of when you first tasted it, where it came from, when you last had it, a favorite way to prepare it, and such.
As you write your piece this week, think of it as writing a scene. Be sure to engage our senses, make us feel, see, taste, hear, and smell. Pull us in with your description.