My fridge is packed with fruit today.
Peaches, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.
There are ziplock bags of frozen strawberries and blueberries in the freezer.
And as we push the limits of just how many cherries we can eat without getting sick, I realize it: I have become my father.
Dad can’t pass up a deal. And where most people buy a few pounds of whatever’s on sale? He buys the vendor out, sends embarrassed teenage daughters back to find the grocer to see if they have any more grapes in the back?
There was the time he bought 400 pounds of chicken breasts – I don’t remember who from or why but I DO know we were eating that chicken for a long, long time.
It ended up freezer burnt.
Once he bought enough chocolate-covered cherries to last most of the year. Another time he showed up at dinner time with a van full of very ripe strawberries he’d bought at a steep discount from a roadside stand. They all needed frozen that night.
We used to laugh at him. We called him a squirrel – honestly a fair comparison. It was a game to take friends into the pantry, show them the 5-gallon buckets of pinto beans and rows and rows of tuna fish (those were bought in case Y2K brought the world to a screeching halt), and of course show off the chocolate covered cherries.
Aldi was selling blueberries at $1 a pint so I bought 13, what my last minute math estimated would reach 10 pounds. That’s how much we picked last year.
Strawberries were $1 a pound but I only bought 4; those go on sale regularly. Peaches were under $1 a pound as well so I couldn’t leave them behind, but again I just bought 2 pounds since they were on sale all last summer.
But then Giant Eagle offered cherries at $1.59 a pound and have you ever heard of a price that low for cherries? I bought four bags, each somewhere over a pound.
I should have bought more, only cherries are so much work to freeze – all those pits to remove and fingers and clothing and countertops stained – so I bought as many as I thought we could eat before they spoiled.
We’ve been eating them constantly ever since.
But it’s above 90 today and it will hit 98 tomorrow and we live without air conditioning so I’m starting to think… cherries for supper?
And Dad? I still have a little more moderation than you did.
Just maybe not a lot.