I had my annual (well, occasional) physical last week, and saw the concerned face that our family doctor probably puts on whenever he talks to a guy in his mid-50s who has a desk job. There was talk about test results (normal, whoo-hoo!), aging-related diagnostic checks (an MRI to evaluate plaque build-up in blood vessels), and statistics that show that, for men, the late 50s are the danger zone for heart attacks, strokes, and other unwelcome forms of sudden death (yikes!).
Inevitably, the discussion turned to diet. Time to eat fewer juicy cheeseburgers and more dry, unadorned fish and chicken! Let’s try to choke down more leafy green vegetables, shall we? And watch out for those evil “empty calories,” too, while we’re at it!
Fortunately, the good doctor also recommended that I eat more fruit. No problem! I felt proud of myself when I drove to the neighborhood grocer and, following doctor’s orders, bought fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and melons for some welcome, juice-dribbling-down-the-chin goodness.
With this group of fruit choices, timing and sequencing is crucial. You always start with the raspberries, before they get soft and soggy, when they still have the crisp snap as you bite into them and savor their tart flavor. Then you move to my favorite, strawberries, perform the necessary surgery on the stem remnants, cut them into sections, and gobble them down — in my case, typically on a bowl of Corn Flakes or Rice Chex. Next up is the blueberries, to pile heaping spoonfuls into your mouth and get that explosion of flavor as your teeth breach the skin of the fruit. And finally you reach the melon, after a few days of ripening, scoop out the seeds, and then enjoy the succulent spoonfuls of sweet melon flesh.
These are some of the best tastes of summer, which is the golden season for local Ohio fruit. If only every instruction from my doctor were so easy to follow!