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Food Rant - Eat Some Fruit Dammit!

Saying fruit and summer go together nicely is about as profound as blaming alcohol for questionable decision making; A good deal of my childhood memories actually revolve around this fact (the fruit, not the alcohol). You see my folks were great about keeping fresh fruit around (even though Dad didn't eat much of it) and because of this availability I was usually found with some kind of fruit during the summer months.

The early summer usually included a trip or two out strawberry picking. As a baby Mom would have me strapped to her back and would hand me a sun-warm berry to suck on whenever I got fussy. As I got older I was free to roam the "pick-your-own" farm, usually hitching a ride on the tractor that ferried people around the field, eating my weight in "free" berries along the way. Our haul of strawberries usually fed myself and the neighborhood kids for a few weeks until all that was left was a couple frozen bags for smoothies and ice-cream.

Cherries were another summer favorite for reasons more then flavor. When they came in season Mom and Dad would usually act as judges during neighborhood "pit-spit'n" contests. Some of the other parents didn't like this game much at first until my parents would school them, then it was on. It is funny how decorum goes out the window when someone's pride is challenged, I guess that explains a great deal of my collage memories (or lack there-of).

The last fruit that I need to reminisce about is watermelon. Cherries and strawberries are great to enjoy out of season as preserves or even frozen, but the flavor is still welcome when the sky is crapping snow. Watermelon however, is a summer thing, you don't crave it when it's -30 degrees out (it's cold and wet enough thanks). No, its a summer only fruit and if you disagree you probably think its the best Jolly Rancher flavor too.

Flavor aside, watermelon has to be one of the more fun fruits of summer. It's crisp, juicy, refreshing and more importantly messy. My birthday being in August usually meant a pool party (we weren't rich, it was the apartment pool). Most of my parties growing up had fun, creative and inexperience games (three legged races, egg toss, cage fights... well, that last one was much later). One of the games was a hands free watermelon eating contest. This has to be one of the harder party games, especially since my parents would chill the watermelons to that of the dark side of Pluto. The resulting brain freeze was usually good for a laugh from the parents who were too chicken to participate. The person to have a "pink free" rind was the winner...

the prize usually being a watermelon.

Feel free to share your summer fruit memories in the comments.
Have a great holiday weekend my fellow Canadians.
Cheers and Beers

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