I have always been fascinated by the degree to which we identify with our likes and dislikes. As though it interesting or useful information, we declare, “chocolate just doesn’t do it for me,” or “I’m a big lobster person,” which always makes me think of a sphinx-like crustacean, with legs and claws. Our friend Joao asks, “If you are not a big fan of something, are you then a small fan?” If so, I am but a small fan of raspberries, if a fan at all, and this confounds people. “How could you not like raspberries?” They ask. Well, they often have a ‘mealy’ texture, even fresh, the bitter seeds always get stuck in my teeth, and the flavor simply does not appeal to me as much as other berries, which I quite like. Perhaps I had too many in my youth.
My mother is a big raspberry person. With two long rows at the edge of the back garden, and stakes festooned with bars of Irish Spring soap to ward off grazing deer, she has proudly tended her favorite berries since I was small, making jams and jellies from these, and, thankfully, also from the wild blackberries all around the yard. So, when my mother read in the local newspaper that Cornell University’s berry breeding program – the oldest in the US – had developed a high yielding raspberry plant, called the Crimson Treasure, with delicious fruit twice the size of normal raspberries, her interest was piqued.
Letter writing is my mother’s preferred mode of communication, but perhaps sensing the urgency of the situation, she went straight to the phone and called the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and left a message asking how she could acquire this fine new plant. After a few days, she got a call back from the scientist who created the variety, Courtney Weber, who informed my mother that seeds or plants were sold in groups of 200 to 500, but if she just wanted a few, she’d be happy to cultivate them for her. A classic case of “ask and you shall receive” - straight from the source - my mother will be driving to Geneva, New York to pick up her Crimson Treasures in a few months. I look forward to tasting them, though, as the lobster people will tell you, “bigger is not always better.”
We seem to get a lot of dog people at Oakland Yard, but we also welcome cat people, and if you’re a rosé fan, be sure to come by this Saturday. Or if you’re a big French person, we’ve got you covered all weekend…
SATURDAY 5/4: All French Rosé Flights. All new arrivals, all dry and delightful, and all for you. Flights $15 from 2-5 and wines by the glass until 9pm
SUNDAY 5/5: French Flights with special guest (and actual French person) Paul Duroussay pouring wines made by his friends and family – One red, one white, and one wild card. Flights $15 from 2-5 and WINE CLUB PICKUP PARTY with a free flight for members and wines by the glass until 8pm.
But first…tonight! THURSDAY NIGHT FLIGHTS! All ITALIAN Reds and whites – three of each – new arrivals and old favorites - Flights $12 from 5-9pm.