Last night Lynda and I got all gussied up for the Raspberry Jam - which meant, we found our sneakers, some long pants, extra water bottles, some canvas chairs... and, most importantly, our raspberry picking devices (aka large juice bottles wrapped in fiber tape with a carabiner to hook to our belt loops).
We drove up to Arlee, Montana to the Common Ground U-Pick Raspberry Farm only to find out the Missoula Independent had misprinted the date.
The empty stage said it all: there would be no Jam tonight (And by "tonight" I mean last night because I suspect they are jammin' tonight).
Since we were there and ready for raspberries, we headed down a row and started picking, with only the company of a middle school sleepover to entertain us with their giggles.
(How cool is that? I never went berry picking at my sleepovers. If I ever get to be a mom, that's going to be pretty high on my "activity" list.)
It's amazing how calming picking berries is. It's methodical and soothing - even if there are pre-teens running around shouting at every good spot they find.
You stand in the middle of a least a few acres of raspberry rows in a valley bordered by the panoramic Mission Mountains.
And then, it's amazing how shocking it can be to get to the scales and find out you owe a twenty spot because you picked almost seven pounds of raspberries.
Economically, raspberries are a much better harvest than strawberries, which weigh a ton and rack up your bill quickly and can also be bought at the Good Food Store for $3.49/pound. So last night I only picked raspberries.
This morning, the only thing ready for harvest was the ill-fated cucumber.
I say ill-fated because as I mentioned before, Mysotis, occasional-resident boy dog, has been overwhelmed with an uncontrollable urge to urinate on said cucumber every morning.
The Handyman says that it is inedible, but what do you think?
Could you enjoy a cucumber sandwich knowing that a little soap and water was all that stood between you and some dog pee?
Would you pickle a cucumber after knowing the pickling process had begun thanks to a beautiful white Samoyed?
I admit, I'm inclined to say, "Yes! I can eat it!"
You let me know... That cucumber 'll keep a few days while we decide.