Strawberries hold a trove of memories for me.
Of whipped cream-slathered, fresh strawberry layer cakes that my Dad toted home from Chinatown bakeries for a special treat.
Of bowls of berries hidden by a mountain of aerosol-spurted whipped cream my parents would sometimes indulge us with for dessert in summer.
Of aching quads after my girlfriends and I once spent an afternoon at a u-pick, plucking our own super ripe, juicy berries from rows of lush, low-lying plants.
And of the consternation my older brother felt when he tried to grow them in our own backyard, only to have the bugs gnaw away at most of them.
But in many ways, one of the most profound remembrances I have is not of the berries themselves, but of the small, green crisscross plastic baskets they come in.
Whenever I bring the berries home now from the farmers markets and empty them out of of their containers, I can’t help but think of those baskets.