Strawberries tend to make us nostalgic, and they also tend to make us think of mom. And May. And Mother's Day.
I remember the first time she introduced me to the alluring combination of strawberry and rhubarb: she made a compote, and let me have some while I watched her cook the rest of dinner, and before my father and sister got to taste. She dished it up in one of the vintage ice cream parlor dishes we only used for special occasions, even though there was nothing particularly memorable about that Saturday night. I remembered its charms well-enough, and endeavored to bake a strawberry-rhubarb pie for my high school sweetheart that same blissful summer. I remember the horrible fight we got in the year after I graduated college; sweetness being the only antidote for the wounds inflicted by our acidic words, we went strawberry-picking and she spent the rest of the afternoon teaching me about canning, and how adding a little sour lemon would help the strawberries really shine. She knows how to make a mean jam - her visits now feel incomplete without those little jars; the contents of which never seem to make it as far as toast before they’re all gone.
Maybe it was more than a coincidence, then, that we saw so many strawberry-themed recipes popping up in the week before Mother's Day. The internet has mysterious ways of showing you just what you need sometimes. In any case, I took it as a sign and so this time, it’s all strawberry fields forever.