Thursday, April 29, 2010


OK, so I've gone overboard - just a bit. But then, who doesn't love organic strawberrys and all of the lovely things one can do with them? Lemme just go Forrest Gump for one second: strawberry jam, strawberry bread, strawberry margueritas, strawberry shortcake, strawberry gorgonzola salad, strawberry puree, strawberry smoothies, etc., etc., etc.

So, how did I go overboard and how did it happen? Well, according to local news reports, Ambrose Farms, a Charleston area CSA and You-Pick farm, is experiencing a record strawberry yield in 2010, so I had to go check it out since the season ends June 1st. Upon arrival, and armed with several buckets including plastic bag inserts, handily supplied by a helpful farm attendant, it was evident that reporters and the Ambrose Farm ownership had not over-publicized the strawberry season of 2010! The berries are GIANT, a beautiful sanguine red, each neatly grown bush clustered with clump upon clump of juicy, fresh berries. I walked through the rows, climbed over a few sections and finally bent down and started picking. It seemed like hardly any time had passed at all, when I realized my berry bag, neatly placed inside of the small berry bucket, was already brimming over with delicious, ripe fruits. I mean, these berries are BIG!! They started to fall out, hence, I took the bag out of the bucket. It seemed a reasonable solution, because then I had the berry bucket as well as the rest of the extra space in the plastic bag to fill! Apparently, though, my inability to limit myself to the pre-defined bucket size was where it all went wrong.

As every berry dish I could think of ran through my head, I happily picked. But, much to my chagrin, my bag was soon full. And when I picked up the plastic shopping bag to move further down the row to finish filling the little plastic bucket, I couldn't believe the weight of it! Uh oh. The bag felt like it already held about ten pounds of berries. Ugh. I had to stop mindlessly running amuck on this strawberry picking frenzy!

With reason behind me, I corraled my partner-in-strawberry-picking-crime, whose bags were also brimming with dozens and dozens of beautiful strawberries.
"Yeah, I think we need to get out of here," I said.
"Why? This is kinda fun."
"Yeah, I'm digging it too, but, uh, I just picked up my bag...and if I keep picking strawberries, I'm going to need a back-hoe to leave this place."

Sixty dollars later, the pair of us departed Ambrose Farm. Do you have any idea how many pounds of organic strawberries can be purchased for sixty dollars? Ultimately, my only advice is: don't lose self control in the strawberry patch - it's not like you can put them back...., don't bother to call or write for a while. I'll be busy canning, freezing and planning entire meals made solely out of strawberries for probably the next two weeks.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First Charleston Harbor Air Show

The rattling, the windows shaking, the unfounded fear of potential sonic boom - everyone in the downtown area has endured the screaming engines of the Navy's elite, Blue Angels, for four days now. All of this high turbo, F-18 action above us was all in preparation for the first ever Charleston Harbor Air Show.

In an apparent move to add some flare to the annual Navy Week held in Charleston, while mollifying those dissatisfied with the earlier cancellation of the air show typically held at the air force base, our city teamed up with the Town of Mt. Pleasant. Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, which lie on either side of Charleston Harbor, dually invited the Angels to use the harbor airspace for a spectacular finish to the week's militaristic celebrations.

Bringing in six F-18s and a C130, the Angels spent Thursday and Friday practicing for the show. From our windows many of us watched the military craft roll and tumble each day in preparation for their Saturday and Sunday performances. Work was impossible as the roaring jets sped around above us. Personally, I was involved in a conversation with a neighbor at one point. Needless to say we gave up. Even shouting at one another was useless as the jets circled above. We both put our hands up and went inside to escape the deafening sounds of the engines.

Sunday being the last day, and the weather being perfect, we decided to slip out and have a photo shoot. Some of the tricks were astounding.