Maximum comfort weather in Minnesota today. Warm but not tropical—a little above eighty, low humidity. Summer has mellowed, like a drunk at a party who’s passed through the stage where he’s telling everybody what he really thinks of them, looking for a fight, and is now sitting quietly in a flower bed, saying, “Man, I love you guys. You guys are so great.”
Summer has lost its edge. The days are kind.
But I’m not taken in. I’m not fooled. I hear, in the background, the voice of Mother Nature (who, as far as I can tell, has much the same character as my own mother) saying, “You like it cooler? I’ll give you cooler. Just wait a couple months.”
Strawberries taste like summer to me. I know a lot of people reserve that distinction for watermelon, but I never liked watermelon.
I never liked raspberries either. One of the chief distinctions between my brother Moloch and me has always been that he likes raspberries while I like strawberries. Recent research indicates that people are born with different numbers of sweet or sour receptors on their tongues. If you have a lot of sweet receptors you’re sensitive to sweet, and will prefer sour. You’ll be a veggie eater. If you have a lot of sour receptors, on the other hand, you’ll prefer sweet. You’ll truly appreciate the wonders of the strawberry, and be forever barred from appreciating the virtues of its raspy cousin.
I buy Driscoll’s, of course. Until they showed up, you had to grow your own to get anything in this country that could come close to the wonders of Norwegian strawberries.
From Front Page Magazine, this review by David Forsmark of the new book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War.
Here is one of Philbrick’s most valuable points: Despite the priggish image perpetrated by the scoffers — including the first revisionist, novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne — the Pilgrims were adaptable people willing to compromise in order to live in peace despite their strict code and religious outlook.
Now that looks like a worthwhile read.