Finally! Spring has come to Hood River. The main indicator is my strawberry patch. There isn’t much better in life than sitting in a patch of strawberries and just popping the berries off the plant and popping them straight in the mouth, cottonwood fluff, ants and all. It’s a very different taste to those cardboard Californian and Mexican strawberries that arrive in the supermarket this time of the year. These will actually squish in your mouth and the flavor is a mixture of that acidic taste of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), sugar and whatever the ester is that gives strawberries their distinctive smell and taste. The crop this year is fabulous, a testament to the effects of global warming on the local climate of Oregon. It seems to have pulled in more Pacific moisture which makes the local weather actually cooler and wetter for spring while the South burns up. Strawberries just love that cool weather for setting a big crop of berries. Now that it has started into the warm weather I’ll take a big bowl every other day off the bushes until the heat drives them into dormancy for another year. Strawberries and cream! I think the good of the one counteracts the bad of the other! Yum, Yum.