ART - Literary Lounge

Wild strawberry

... But berries are different, not only from the point of view of taste, but also from the point of view of production.

Strawberries should be put in the first place. I think everyone will agree that this is the most delicious of all wild berries. Neither in shades of taste, nor in aroma, it has no equal, but also approaching it. When you come from the forest with a full jug and pour this jug onto a large flat dish, the world's only strawberry aroma will immediately float all over the house. I remember about Leonov's strawberry aroma: “And now, even in a thunderstorm, how the Eenezh pine forests will creak with the wind in their arms, how the hot July haze is dying, so even the pillows for three nights in a row smell of hot strawberry and pine needles infusion ... Here's how in our Yeng. "

As a child, we picked bunches of wild strawberries, which, really, are not inferior to bunches of the brightest flowers. To prevent the berry from rolling off a piece of soft and also in its own way fragrant bread, we pressed each berry a little into the bread pulp and ate it, sipping milk.

But the best way is to eat strawberries like this: pour cold milk into a bowl, sweeten it strongly with granulated sugar, stirring patiently until it melts, and then pour strawberries into the milk, if desired, or based on how much is collected. Some people prefer to crush the strawberries in milk with a spoon. In no case should this be done, because although the milk from the strawberry acid will turn pink, it will curl up into flakes.

I won't talk about strawberry jam. Every hostess, every person who understands jam a little, considers it to be the number one jam. As far as I know, there are no other types of strawberry harvesting. To dry it - only to spoil the berry, it is not suitable for marinade. Is that marshmallow. But marshmallow, in my opinion, is only a worsened kind of jam.

And in general, to tell the truth, I am opposed to any harvesting of this berry. And I think that I am right if we proceed from its particular usefulness for a person. Well, how much jam will I eat at one time in winter? A tablespoon, two, or three. At the same time, at the height of the season, you can eat a whole plate of strawberries every day, moreover, strawberries of the first freshness, which have not lost not only their healing properties, but also not a drop of aroma, and not only their aroma, but also the aroma of the surrounding forest, warmed by the half-day sun. True, this point of view of mine does not prevent my wife from storing strawberry jam by a pood or more.

Yes, not only by taste is strawberry the first among all wild berries, but also by its usefulness for humans and even healthfulness ...

The first wave of strawberries ripens in the cuttings, that is, where there was a pine or spruce forest and where it was cut down, leaving only stumps from which honey sticky drops of aromatic resin are melted in the sun. Strawberries usually grow around these stumps. And since the felling is open to the sun, strawberries ripen there first of all, especially if the felled place is a slope of a mountain or ravine facing south. To the spice, as we say, the berries ripen in such fellings much earlier than the forest ones, hiding in the dense grass and undergrowth.

In felling, berries are smaller than in the forest, drier, coarser, but, perhaps, sweeter. Some fellings do not overgrow anymore, so from year to year it is possible to pick early small berries on them. On some felling sites, on the other hand, dense young growth, most often birches and aspens, begins to rise. Grass also rises there, strawberry from dryish, "cut-down" turns into a large juicy forest berry.

When everything is picked and trampled in the felling, you need to go deeper into the forest. Of course, strawberries do not grow anywhere in the forest. Under the dense canopy of the forest, it happens that there is no grass at all, not only strawberries. So, you need to look for open strawberry glades or a sparse forest, where the sun reaches the ground, even if filtering through the crowns, through the walnut undergrowth, through the tall forest grass.In the grass in such places berries ripen, right, on the thimble. Poured, juicy, cool, they are a little sour than their fellow tribesmen growing on the hills, but seeing such a berry, you cannot exchange it for a dozen others.

You should always have the main large dishes that can stand somewhere to the side, and a small, say, half-liter jar. This jar is first tied to a string, and tied with a string around the waist so that the jar dangles in front of the stomach, and the hands are free. Often strawberries fall from the hand into the forest grass. The first move is to pick her up and save her. But this does not need to be done, because you will not immediately grab it in the thick grass, while you pick it up, it will all be crumpled, cut into the grass, and during this time you can pick a dozen new berries. But actually, I don't know what success depends on, what agility is. You try, without straightening your back, you are not distracted by outsiders, you constantly work with both hands, a village woman gathering nearby will still pick up twice as much.

An excerpt from the book "The Third Hunt"