Bob Groeneveld has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with Langley readers for the past four decades, give or take a few weeks.

Odd Thoughts: Langley berries sandwich solstice into summer

The best summer solstice ceremonies centre on strawberries and white bread

By Bob Groeneveld


Forget all the pagan mumbo jumbo of Stone Henge and countless other pointy-stick and piled-rock ceremonies that pre-historically marked the beginning of summer all around the world.

Right here, in this place and time, the best way to celebrate the summer solstice is with a strawberry and sugar sandwich.

No. Not a strawberry jam sandwich, silly.

You take a handful of ripe strawberries – preferably just a tiny bit overripe, in fact – and mash them onto a buttered slab of plain white bread.

It has to be butter – lots of it – and the bread has to be so white that Donald Trump would pay to have it stand just behind him and a little to the right at a rally.

The sugar, by the way, has to be white, too. It would be standing just a little to Trump’s left.

Everything but the strawberries has to be white.

Oh, and the butter, of course. The best butter for your summer solstice strawberry sandwich should be the bright yellow you get by churning cream skimmed from milk produced by cows whose diet consists entirely of grass.

When you grow up on a farm, you take for granted things that other people find amazing, even awesome.

Most city folks don’t realize this, but the pale yellow butter you buy at the grocery store is probably made from the milk of cows that rarely see natural grass, let alone get to taste it.

Butter Mom made in the winter was colourless, almost as white as Donald Trump’s favourite immigrants. That’s because the cows were mostly eating sun-dried – and sun-bleached – hay.

In the spring and early summer, the cows on our farm got to eat lush green grass that added vivid pigments to their cream and made the butter a deep, warm yellow.

Now, the strawberries for your celebratory sandwich have to be the deep through-and-through red that only comes in berries from plants grown in your backyard, or at least in your neighbourhood. The imported ones always have those white, tasteless hearts, like Donald Trump’s. And they tend to be too hard – just like Trump’s followers – to mash properly.

So anyway, you take an ordinary kitchen fork and mash your berries into your slice of white bread that’s been slathered with brilliant yellow butter.

And then you pour on a pile of sugar big enough that some of it stays white while the strawberry juices bleed into the crystals and turn the edges of the mound a glorious deep pink.

Now mash all of that again, and lay a second freshly buttered slice of white bread on top.

At this point, you have to work quickly: grab that sandwich and turn it over. You can’t eat it right side up, because by now, even with that protective coating of butter, the strawberry and sugar mash has started dissolving the bottom slice of bread.

Now all that’s left is to open your mouth as wide as you can, and tastefully celebrate the solstice.


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