Sunday, September 01, 2013

Grandmommy's Raspberries

Happy VeganMofo, awesome readers! 
I hope you are enjoying the whole interwebs full of vegan glory and festivity!


This year, I am going to be (mostly) sticking to the theme of Noshtalgia: foods that remind me of people I love. If all goes as planned, it'll be everything from sourdough toast to green beans to a vegan bacon-taste off and even vegan sole almondine. So, we'll see if that all comes to pass!

For my inaugural Mofo2013 post: a sweet and simple food that is very sentimental for me: Raspberries. My mom's parents had a really awesome garden, and ever since I can remember, they had a huge long double row of raspberries. They lived quite nearby, and whenever I would visit - for a family gathering or just an unannounced drop-in... I would always make a pass by the raspberries for a nibble or two.


As long as raspberries were in season, no family gathering was ever held without a giant bowl of raspberries. We ate them by the handful in the garden, and by the spoonful at the table. We ate them on birthday cakes and with vanilla ice cream, and we ate them unadorned for a simple dessert. Any ol' way, we loved them so much.

My grandparents had their own little system for two-handed picking... They had a few old plastic tubs (usually either fat free yogurt or fat free sour cream - sorry, she wasn't a vegan! ha ha!). Then, they punched holes in them and tied some strings to them (see figure 1). Next, they taught me to tie the strings together behind my neck, so that the bucket could dangle freely like a necklace (see figure 2). Then, it was time to pick! At some point, my grandma figured out that she could get little baby me to do all the down-low picking, and she taught me how to carefully check for berries hidden under leaves or deep inside the bush. Meanwhile, she would be picking the obvious and easy-to-find berries up high (see figure 3).

These days, my beloved grandparents are no longer around, but - luckily! - my aunt now lives in their house, and tends the raspberries. Happily, bowls of raspberries still appear at birthday parties and family dinners... and recently I was over there and she and I ended up in the back yard picking berries together. In that moment, I felt so close to my grandparents, and so happy for the simple joys of fresh raspberries.


23 comments:

  1. What a lovely first VeganMoFo 2013 post :) Looking forward to reading much more.

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  2. This is such a sweet post Amey. I also love your gran's two handed method! I think this will work for our u-pick adventures here, as we can just pour the little bucket's worth into our bigger bucket. I will share with kim post haste!

    Love you!
    xo
    kittee

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  3. Aw, Amey. A couple things:

    1. Great theme! You always pick good ones!

    2. Your grandmother was a smart lady. I love both the yogurt necklace and tasking the kids with scooping the low berries.

    3. Raspberries at every gathering sounds like an awesome idea.

    Happy MoFo!!

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  4. I love, love this theme. Glad you are feeling up to mofo.

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  5. This makes me smile! Happy Vegan Mofo!! :)))

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  6. What a beautiful post. <3

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  7. What a great theme - noshtalgia is such a cute name. And such a sweet story about your grandparents.

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  8. Perfect lead-off for your excellent theme. Nice photo and sweet illustrations.

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  9. Great theme! Thank you for sharing your grandparents method. I think it is awesome. Happy mofoing, Amey!

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  10. What a lovely theme! Such a cute story and as always I love your illustrations!

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  11. This is such a lovely theme! So nice to revisit happy food memories :) I remember raspberry picking with my Grandpa too.

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  12. I love your theme, Amey, and this first post is so sweet! I love the clever idea of a bucket around your neck to pick more easily!

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  13. this is such a sweet post :)

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  14. celyn4:27 AM

    Lovely post and lovely theme, Amey! Yay.

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  15. I love everything about this post. And noshtalgia? I love it -- brilliant! Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with throughout mofo! : )

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  16. I love the theme, and this post is really sweet. :)

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  17. I love your MoFo theme, Amey! I used to be a raspberry hater, but recently I've been eating bucketfuls of the stuff. So good! Happy MoFo!

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  18. I love so much about this post, and am really looking forward to seeing your theme in action!

    My grandparents and I used to pick blueberries when I would visit them in Michigan, and had wild raspberries growing on their land. So, your post has reminded me of some great times. Thank you, Amey! <3

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  19. I have many happy raspberry memories too. Play-fighting with my best friend Edda while we picked raspberries is my favourite memory. We got our first raspberries off our plants this year - not a big harvest, but I'm excited to have my own patch!

    The art is awesome!

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  20. This is such a nice story! I went blueberry picking last time I was in Florida, and they gave us buckets on strings to hang around our waist for two handed picking. I thought that was about the most clever thing I'd ever seen.

    I used to love fish almondine as a kid, so I'm especially looking forward to that!

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  21. Oh, Amey! This is such a great theme!!!

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  22. What a sweet theme! (Sorry I'm so late to the party, but I'm forever playing catch-up now that Google Reader is gone!)

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