Plated + Served: Berry Happy


Summer + Fresh Berries = Happiness.

Mama doesn’t know why she feels this way. I don’t have any gauzy berry-picking memories from my childhood (strawberries don’t grow in the desert) and most of the berry pies I’ve made have been disasters. Maybe it’s because fresh, locally-grown berries in the market mean one thing: summer is here!

You can buy berries in supermarkets pretty much all year long, which I think is a little sad. When they are so readily available, it makes them seem less special, and besides, store-bought berries hardly ever taste like they’re supposed to. There is something deliciously beautiful about fresh summer berries, handpicked or found in a farmer’s market. I think they taste like a promise that the coming days will be sweet and warm… bursting with possibility.

Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are wimps… they are pretty and delicate and don’t travel real well…kind of like a newborn baby. So, buy only what you plan to prepare or eat that day. Blueberries are a little heartier and can even be frozen.

When you buy fresh berries, give them a rinse with cool water and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to dry. I don’t like refrigerating my berries because the natural flavors seem to disappear(but sometimes I have to if I’ve gone overboard and bought too many).

Drew and Sistie made a simple shortcake and whipped cream to go with the berries I found in the market. I used to toss the berries with sugar, but now we just eat them naked, as the kids like to say.

So easy. So delicious. So summer.




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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: