Friday, September 21, 2012

Cherokee Legend, and How Strawberries Can Save Your Marriage!

As today is the last day of summer, I want to share the Cherokee Legend of the Strawberry:

The story goes that First Man and First Woman had an argument, in which the First Woman ran away, never to return. After First Man's temper calmed, he began to worry and miss First Woman. First Man prayed to Creator to give her something to eat and to slow her down, so he could tell her how sorry he was. Creator placed a patch of blackberries along her path, but the briars tore at her soft skin, and she continued to run away.

First Man prayed to Creator again to give her something to eat and to slow her down, so he could tell her how much he loved her. Creator reached down and picked the most delicate white flowers and some berries, in which he pricked his finger on the thorns. Drops of blood turned the berries large, bright red, and heart-shaped. He then placed the white flowers and berries along First Woman's path. 

When First Woman saw the delicate flowers and bright red berries, she stopped to enjoy their beauty. As she saw no thorns, she tasted one of the berries. They were so sweet that she stopped to eat more. She saw that the berries were heart-shaped and began to think of the sweet things First Man had done for her in the past. She began looking at the pure white flowers and began to remember how pure her love for First Man had been, and began to cry. She began to pray to Creator to bring her husband to her, so she could tell him how sorry she was and how much she loved him. Her husband appeared and they hugged, exchanged loving words, and forgave each other. 

This is why the Cherokee always have fresh whole strawberries, jam, and pictures in their home to remind them not to argue with one another. Their heart-shape reminds them that if they do slip and say something hurtful, to pray, ask for forgiveness, and say loving words, just like First Man and First Woman.

So, there you have it, strawberries make a happy marriage! Why not run out and pick up a bunch today, eat them whole, like First Man and First Woman, or do what I do, make Thomas Keller's "Strawberry Sorbet," from his cookbook, Bouchon. This luscious strawberry sorbet is so easy and just as satisfying as ice cream, but without any guilt! Keller suggests serving this sorbet simply, in a bowl with no garnish. It's pure perfection, and the perfect way to end your summer!


Bouchon Strawberry Sorbet

Makes about 1 quart.

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh strawberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions:

Combine the strawberries, sugar, and lime juice in a blender and blend to a puree. Strain to remove the seeds. Refrigerate until cold.

Transfer to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Special thanks to Bonita Beautiful Meadowlark Sanders for sharing the "Cherokee Legend of the Strawberry!"

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