Strawberry Dreams

Hi. Barb here.

It’s finally strawberry season in Maine. We had a long, cold spring (okay, a longer, colder spring) and a long, snowy winter. Snow, it turns out, is good for strawberries because it protects them, and indeed, this year’s crop is delicious and super juicy.

cuttingstrawberrieFor me, strawberries are always the most welcome indication that summer has finally arrived. When I was a kid, my father’s parents owned a summer home in Water Mill, Long Island. On the last day of school every year, my grandmother would pick me and my brother up, and whisk us, along with her father, my great-grandfather, out to Long Island Expressway for two weeks at the beach. We always stopped along the way and picked up the first strawberries of the season. Some of them even made it all the way to the house, where my grandmother would prepare her special shortcake biscuits. (So special, the recipe was miraculously printed on the Biscuit box.)

I love seasons, and I love things that are special because you can only get them in a certain season, for a limited time. Now that I’m a grown up, you can get strawberries at the supermarket almost all year round. Those berries don’t interest me.

But give me local berries straight out of the fields and I will eat them for three weeks straight, or however long they stay around. They’re precious, because they’re rare. And they tap our memories because we associate them with a time and a feeling.

strawberryshortcake2So enjoy, because, what, honestly, could be better?


About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at
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11 Responses to Strawberry Dreams

  1. Gram says:


  2. Lea Wait says:

    Very special berries … served by very special friends! Thank you, Barb!

  3. “They’re precious, because they’re rare.” Totally agree! That’s why I won’t eat asparagus in August, or peaches in January. And I always pick more berries than I can eat. Fortunately they freeze pretty well, and I can make jam at my leisure. Thanks for a mouth-watering blog.

  4. Kait Carson says:

    We have the teeny tiny wild strawberries on our property in northern Maine. I love it when the season comes in. Takes forever to fill a four cup measure, but so worth the effort. Course it would probably be quicker if I didn’t eat as many as I put in the measure. I didn’t realize full size berries grew too. Note to self – start some full strawberries!

    • Barb Ross says:

      I love the little strawberrie. Best ones I ever had were in a restaurant in Rome, They were so good, we went back the next night and had the same dessert.

  5. I feel exactly the same way, Barb. Just got two more quotes today from a local farm stand. Can’t get enough! My kitchen counter looks the same, with the shortbread biscuits, the whipped cream, and empty quart boxes. Yum.

  6. Karla says:

    You are so right about in season produce. Nice photos.
    Didn’t get to read this until now because we’ve been out picking strawberries at Jordon Farm in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Recommendation: Strawberry shortcake for breakfast. Repeat often.

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