Friday, July 8, 2011

Reflections on Strawbreeze

Strawberries are my favorite fruit. If you say it "STRAW-breeze," you will seem British and sophisticated. Also, while watching a cooking show featuring an Australian chef, I realized that one of the tricks to faking an Aussie accent (one of the harder ones), is replacing all the short "e" sounds with short "i's." Special=spishel. See this strawberry? It's so spishel. I bit you want to eat it.

O, glorious, dimpled fruit, mmm.

Strawberry Shortcake was created because "market surveys showed that little girls connected emotionally with strawberries and felt 'security and affection' in relation to them" (Thomas, 58). I read this in a wonderfully scary book, Buy, Buy, Baby: How Consumer Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds. Despite the darker marketing origins of the little redhead Strawberry Shortcake, I can totally relate! Strawberries do mean security and affection! Why, when I was a little girl, when people would make fun of my fuzzy hair, I'd come home from school and just sit in our strawberry patch, spilling all my woes to the little sproingy green plants and their red, heart-shaped treasures. They would listen, and when I was done crying my salty, soil-contaminating tears, those little strawberries would offer words of comfort and thoughtful suggestions. And then I would eat a couple of them.

Ah, a royalty check from the pernicious marketers. How wonderful!

Today, while preparing some strawberries for my bowl of Honey Bunch of Oats with Almonds (best cereal ever!), I felt like a real adult--a rare feeling. I was cutting the strawberries that awesome, dangerous-seeming way where you pinch berry and blade together with your slightly crooked index finger and thumb. There's that moment when you've cut through the last bit of berry and the edge of the blade presses just barely into the flesh of your thumb--it amazes me every time that I don't cut my thumb off. I remember watching my parents cut fruit this way when I was little and I was so in awe. They are so brave, I thought. I would imitate them with butter knives and bananas, but you don't get the same thrill when there's no risk of laceration. But there I was this morning, standing at the kitchen counter slicing a strawberry onto my cereal with smooth, deft motions. And I thought, I have motor skills! I am brave! I am a grown-up! It was wonderful.

Strawberry Sandwich:
Brianna's Poppyseed dressing

Combine, and be translated.


  1. My proud moment: picking enough strawbreeze from my very own patch this year to make a batch of jam. Alas, I cannot eat any this year, but next year I shall indulge in some (meaning two!) strawbreeze and cream to be sure. Funnily enough, I find I connect emotionally more to pumpkin plants...

  2. Thanks to Suzanne Ohsiek for that sandwich recipe. I love your last line.

  3. My favorite line: "but you don't get the same thrill when there's no risk of laceration."

    and this one: "I have motor skills! I am brave!"

    Oh Kimber, I love you!

  4.'ve opened up a whole new world to me. I had no idea how brave I really am. thanks!

  5. I love it! Why did I not find your blog sooner? Que lastima.


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