Fall = sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, beets, kale, pumpkin, winter squash.
Winter = oranges, broccoli, grapefruit, pears, persimmons, kiwi, brussel sprouts.
Spring = asparagus, peas, cherries, lemons, arugula, rhubarb, spinach.
Summer = avocados, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, figs...
Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries - the most unstoppable of all fruits.
Remember how we talked about those "comfort" foods? Maybe they're the ones that, if they had zero calories/fat/sugar/bad stuff in them, you'd be totally up for eating them everyday? Or maybe they're the ones that let you reminisce on special memories, like mom's freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies with a glass of cold milk after a tough day in 2nd grade, or the pasta salads you and your best friends would make because, well, pasta is easy and salad dressing is like crack.
For some odd reason, that's probably one of my favorite things to discover about people. I think the food that makes someone's taste buds go, "ahhhhh, more! more! more!" and soul sing, "wow, THAT is what I love", is unique and often overlooked.
If you're wondering what one of those special foods is for me (which you better be, because I'm going to tell you anyway), it's the berry-jam my grandma makes every summer. Her specialties are strawberry and raspberry. Both of them will convince you that my grandma knows your sweet tooth's deepest, sugariest desires, but the latter used fresh raspberries that all the grandkids would pick for her from her own (huge, magical) backyard when we were little. If you ask her about that process, she'll giggle and hope you will too when she remembers how I'd impatiently ask her, with an adorable inability to pronounce the letter "R", "sh-sh-shhhould we go pick some wwwwaspwbewwies?" even if it was Christmas-time.
Sleepovers at Grandma's palace always involved a big, honkin' breakfast in the morning - enough to feed five grandkids, Mom, Dad, and Grandpa, too. The day I learn how to prepare a meal that size with all the components - eggs, sausage, bacon, hashbrowns, english muffins, toast, and sliced fruit - ready at the same time so that nothing lost its warmth is the day I'll be ready for motherhood.
My favorite part of those breakfasts was the english muffin - toasted and buttered to perfection - onto which she'd slap some incredibly sweet, fruity, homemade jam. Grandma, you have no idea what you are capable of. And Grandpa, you are one lucky duck.
So, I thought about sharing Grandma Hansen's secret recipe with you guys, but then, like Pitch Perfect's beloved Fat Amy, I thought, "Ehhh - better not." However, my mom and I are working on our own blueberry-inclusive, health-friendly version which I will share with you when it's complete. For now, just enjoy the pictures.
And enjoy your summer! Enjoy backyard barbecues, family beach trips, and endless laughter with your friends.
Stay tuned for some summa' jam. Peace, love, and berries.