Tickle Me Surprised

Beloved bounced into the house with bags of various fruits and vegatables.  Okay so he didn’t really bounce in so much as quickly walked in and placed his bounty on the table.  He shouted his arrival as he started to put items away and pull other items out.  “Love,” he shouted as he rattled some pans “I’ve come back and am cooking now.”  As if I didn’t know that.

“Oh you are helping aren’t you?  For a sample am I right?  Of course I am.  Tis the way,” he questioned the four-footed one as he turned on heat and stirred items.  “Tis a surprise so tis,” he said to the dog as I made my way to the kitchen.  Now I was torn, did I interrupt the surprise to say hi or did I wait until he was done.

While I paused and tired to make up my mind, he announced that he was going to split and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod.  And that did it for me, I turned around and found a comfortable chair to flop in with a book.  Vanilla beans are serious surprise deals for Beloved.  No sense ruining it for him.  This was confirmed when he started to sing opera as he stirred and banged about in the kitchen.  

I was pretty sure the four-footed one was helping do quality control duties as she never came to find me.  As long as there is the potential of food coming her way, she will stay patiently near by.  And soon delicious smells were coming from the kitchen.  Smells that tried to tempt me into ruining the surprise.  And the clock indicated that soon I would be having to go to the kitchen for some food and my meds.  

Just as I was debating what to do a flour dusted Beloved came into the room and announced that my meal was ready and thus my presence was required.  The four-footed one was happily munching on a carrot piece as a bowl of Pad Thai was placed on the table in front of me.  Another magically appeared for Beloved.

And when the delicious meal was done, Beloved whisked a plate of beautiful, tempting strawberry shortcakes to be consumed by the two of us.  And some strawberry slices for the four-footed one.  I suggested that he could repeat this type of surprise any time and the four-footed one agreed.

Sampling Nature The Four-Footed Way

My four-footed companion has a taste for berries.  This time of year it happens to be raspberries.  Earlier she was all about the strawberries.  She will also eat blueberries a d blackberries with much joy.  Mind you this is the same companion that happily consumes cherries, apples, watermelon and honeydew.  Now before you get upset, she only get the  tiniest of portions if any from me.

The problem lies at the end of the neighbor’s garden.  This is where the berries grow and where the cherries fell off the tree.  Not that she goes into the garden, but some tasty morsels of delicious fruit always are outside the fence.  And it is outside the fence that she samples on these delicious bits.

I had no clue she knew how to pick a berry or knowing how to pick a ripe one while leaving unripe ones to ripen up.  I certainly never taught her so I shall assume it is in her nature.  And since dogs aren’t pure carnivores it makes sense.

She also only takes two berries a day, never more and never less.  And since the raspberries are towards the end of their season with apples now starting to fall from the tree I’m sure this is what she will try to sample next.  Will she know enough not to eat the seeds or will she at least swallow them whole?

While we can learn a great deal through experimentation, this is not an area I am for this practice.  Much like I’m sure I did as a child, the four-footed one bristles at my efforts to prevent her from harm.  For now she is safe and satisfied with raspberries.

It’s A Very Berry Time

Beloved went strawberry picking today.  We don’t have strawberries to pick, but a friend has a large patch of strawberries in need of picking.  So Beloved decided to help out and reap some of the gathered berries.

He came home with a bucket full of beautiful red berries and a grin in his face.  I’m not sure which was bigger, the grin or the bucket.  This wasn’t a regular sized bucket either, it was an oversized bucket that he managed to fill to almost overflowing.  Pies, jam, fools and sauces are in the making.

But first comes the washing and then freezing of some of the berries so we can enjoy them all year-long.  Me?  Well someone has to do quality control don’t you know?! 😊  And rest assured, dear friends, I take my role of quality control on taste testing very serious.  It requires sampling berries from different parts of he bucket.  It means sampling berries of different sizes and shade.  It basically means it’s the reason to enjoy the berries just as they are while Beloved cleans the rest!

I know, it’s not a job just anyone is up for.  It takes dedication and the willingness to sample several hauls of berries.  Sometimes you get one or two that aren’t as sweet as the others, but it’s a small price to pay in order to ensure everything is on the up and up. And for those of you who feel for Beloved, don’t.  For every five berries he out in the bucket, he put a few in his mouth.  I know because he told me!