The Most Delicious Food?

Right here is an almost invisible wall of a massive mosquito army.

Their mission is to guard the abundance of black raspberries that are nestled among thorns, briars and vines. The mosquitoes attack with a fiery tenacity. Before one has even had a chance to land on me, my ears are already stinging merely from the insect’s persistent buzzing that sounds exactly like a far-flung jet fighter plane coming down to drop a bomb upon their victims.

Even though it is the cusp of summer, with lush green and yellow sunshine, I remember February. Gray February, bitter cold, wearing long-sleeved sweaters pulled over my fingers just to stay warm. And sometimes, even wearing bulky snow pants in the house, just for the heat they generate. I need a bowl of fresh black raspberries on days like that. So, I pick today, and freeze for February. I brave the mosquitoes today for this winter luxury.

Of course, there is this alternate description, which comes from the book, The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbit. This short little chapter book is one of the books I’m reading aloud to the boys at night. “Delicious,” is the quest for the precise food that will be listed in the world’s first dictionary behind the word delicious. No one can agree, so Gaylen, a 12-year old is setting out on horse to poll the kingdom in search for the food. So, far there is no consensus among the kingdom – or among us – about what that food will be. But there is much discussion among our household about what that food might be. Black raspberries, of course, are my only option.

Here is how Babbitt describes this same exact spot, I’m sure it’s the same, based on her description; of the spot I visit to pick blackberries:

There was a lovely greenish glow in the forest, a glow pierced everywhere by tree trunks like fingers thrust into an aquarium full of tinted water; and Gaylen slipped between them like a small fish. With the trees all around him and the rain dancing on the leaves high over his head, he felt as if he were going deeper and deeper into a world that existed tranquil and quite separate from the one he had left behind. He had just decided that the woldweller must surely be real when he came smack up against the most enormous tree trunk of all and a voice croaked down at him somewhere overhead.

The voice comes from a woldweller, a little man who tends to the forest, who is exactly 900 years old.

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6 comments on “The Most Delicious Food?
  1. I’ll take skeeters over the poison ivy I’ve got from MY foraging efforts. I really, REALLY want to go get more blueberries, but still covered in welts and itching, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or not…..
    Blackraspberry season is over for us till next year, but I’ve got yellow and red ones in the yard still.

  2. I think you are talking about what we call ‘blackberries’. (Some crazy New Zealander took them and crossed them with proper raspberries and called the result Boysenberries! I think they are a poor imitation of the original.) Of course they grow on thorny thickets too which makes collection even more challenging. But mosquitoes? BLAH. >:-( Both the BA and I welt up when bitten nowadays. Summer means a chemical overcoat called Aeroguard!

    That books sounds wonderful. I miss reading to my BA. I should re-instate the practice. Surely 15 is not too old??

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