Summer Strawberries by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

I love to eat them year round, not just during the hottest months. When my late husband Bill was alive, he would buy them fresh, rinse them in cold water, remove stems, slice into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife, then sprinkle with sugar and serve warm over ready-made angel food cakes. When two strokes left him partially paralyzed, most of the work involved in preparing this sweet treat fell to me. To my amazement, with only one hand, he was still able to slice the strawberries and add the sugar. The first few times, I couldn’t help wondering if some of the red was blood, but he didn’t appear to be bleeding, and the dessert didn’t taste bloody.

After my husband died, I continued buying fresh strawberries and shortcake and preparing them the way Bill liked them because this made me feel closer to him. In the following poem from my collection, That’s Life, I illustrate this. Click this link to hear me read it.


The Art of Eating Strawberries



I eat them the way you like them,

feel close to you when I rinse them in cold water,

remove stems, tear into bite-sized pieces,

add sugar, let sit in the refrigerator,

heat in the microwave over shortcake,

so sweet, so warm,

wish you were here to enjoy them,

but you’ve gone to a better place

so I must eat strawberries alone.


Then I discovered whole all natural strawberries from Schwann. They’re already in bite-size pieces, so they don’t have to be sliced. They’re pretty sugary, as they are, and I don’t need the extra calories in angel food shortcake. Now I just put some in a bowl to thaw overnight, and they make a great breakfast treat. I think Bill would have approved. You can read more about other foods Bill liked and my cooking disasters in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Do you have a favorite summertime fruit? How do you like to eat it: plain, with vanilla ice cream perhaps?


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.


15 thoughts on “Summer Strawberries by Abbie Johnson Taylor

  1. It is the little things we remember that are so sweet. Thank you for sharing such a precious memory with us, it brought to mind my childhood when we would pick and eat the strawberrys. Not many made it inside to enjoy with shortcake. **Smile** Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a lovely memory and a very poignant poem, Abbie. My strawberry memory is being bought a ‘strawberry tart’ during the summer months when they were ‘in season’ by my Nana. They generally had one large strawberry at the centre of the delicious lickable glaze, undernearth the strawberry was real whipped thick cream and the pastry base was a crumbly sweet shortcrust pastry. The glaze nowadays is nothing like it was back when I was a child of the 1950s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely post, Abbie. One of my favorite desserts is Strawberry Shortcake ( I make the shortcake myself) and my husband insists it be covered in Redi-Whip. So sweet of you to keep this special bond between you and your husband going. He would be proud!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, Abbie, now I am hungry for strawberries too! My mouth is watering for strawberry shortcake. We had friends who served us strawberries on angel food cake every time we visited in another state. Loved your poem.


  5. My mom used to make strawberry shortcake for us when I was little. She made everything from scratch and didn’t buy shortcake or canned whipped cream. Instead, she’d make these sweet biscuits and whip her own whipped cream. It was really good.


  6. Wonderful poem and beautiful story, Abbie. I love both raspberries and strawberries, and I’m learning to enjoy blueberries more this year, especially when mixing together with the other berries. I like putting strawberries in a blender, adding rum, and having margaritas at the cabin or on the deck of the house during the summer. I don’t get much writing done this way, though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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