When I was a little girl, I LOVED strawberries. I loved the way they tasted, I love the way they looked, and I loved that inevitable trickle of juice that meandered down my chin when I took a bite, only to be cleared away with a swipe of my tongue. Strawberries were sun and summer and long afternoons in my girlfriend’s backyard, where a strawberry tier overflowed with these scarlet gems!
One problem… I was very allergic to strawberries. Fortunately, my throat didn’t shut down, but within minutes of eating a fresh strawberry, my face swelled up, becoming red and blotchy, and I turned into the strawberry version of Willy Wonka’s “blueberried” Violet Beauregarde.
Now, life is short, and sometimes a swollen face is worth a mouthful of succulent strawberries… my mother disagreed. She was fearful, that one of these days, it would turn into a life threatening allergic reaction, and no berry, no matter how tasty, was worth that. Funny thing, I could eat frozen strawberries, the kind that come out all mushy and loaded with sugar. So, my mom made sure to keep frozen berries on hand, but they were NOTHING like a whole, fresh berry, and like Rapunzel’s mom, and her lust for fresh radishes, I wanted fresh strawberries… at any cost.
Now, as a child, there are many things you can hide from your mom. You can sneak broccoli into a napkin so you don’t have to eat it, you can evoke plausible deniability when you’ve broken something and no one saw you do it, and you can claim you washed behind your ears when you hadn’t, BUT what you can never get away with, no matter how sneaky you are, is eating fresh strawberries if you blow up like a balloon! Yes, I would still sneak a fresh strawberry whenever I could. And, yes, I would get in trouble for doing it, BUT, let’s face it… There are some things in this world worth swelling up for!
As an aside… after I hit my teens, I lost my allergic reactions to fresh strawberries. Now, able to consume as many as I wanted, you would think they would become common place to me and lose their magic. Not so! To this day I crave fresh strawberries and savor every juicy bite. They are heavenly, and I guess I’ll never get over feeling just a tad bit naughty when I eat one… which makes them all the sweeter!
NOTE: The Strawberry Applique Block can be found HERE.