Friday, June 22, 2012

I think most American children have memories of growing up picking blueberries or strawberries - the vivid blues and reds are fairly appropriate colors for this country. But in Ireland we grew up picking mossy green gooseberries and inky blackberries from gardens and hedgerows. So when I saw gooseberries at the farmers market this morning, the sight transported me back to my grandparents garden in Midleton, Co Cork, to afternoons spent picking the hairy little globes and eating them until the sides of my jaw ached with the sourness. Sometimes I feel so very far away from home but it's incredible how the sight and taste of one tiny little fruit can bring it all so close again. If I close my eyes I'm back in that garden, watching my grandfather's hands, gnarled like the apple trees growing nearby, expertly pick gooseberries. Then we'd gather eggs from the chickens and wander back down to the main house as the sun set around us. My grandfather is gone now, and his house has left our family but I wonder if those gooseberries and apples still grow wild in the garden and whether they have survived to delight another generation.

Have a beautiful weekend.


  1. Mentioning the jaw ache from too many gooseberries definitely brings back the memories!


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