Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Summer Solstice, my Wednesday talk & Strawberry History

Well the days have finally become warmer and longer…could summer be lurking ready to overtake the cold of spring ... finally!

As I was getting ready for my “lecture” on Wednesday night to honor the Summer Solstice, I was drawn back to thoughts of childhood and going about the woods near our home picking a handful of wild strawberries.  It was a wonder to me … and eating a few was fun.

Those strawberries that I am now allergic to, were a great treat to the early settlers and to the Native Americans who could finally warm themselves with the sun after the cold winter.  As a matter of fact Iroquois Tribes (Seneca) celebrated a Strawberry Festival each year…the same as our Strawberry Socials today.

In June the children and woman would scour the fields much as we children did…gathering the little berries to get ready for that special festival.  The berries were mashed and readied for a drink made with honey and water.  Then at the appointed time all would gather for fun and food with two chosen children bringing the drink around to be sampled by all members … Fun

Of course, then other berries were gathered and made into cakes or that were dried and saved for food to later be reconstituted to eat or to travel with.  Dried like much of the food they preserved for future use.

As I thought on this, I decided that this year our little history group, Friends of the Old Town of Eaton Museum, could do a Summer Solstice celebration by taking rhubarb and strawberries and turning them into our traditional “Pie of Spring”… Strawberry Rhubarb.  Of course, we will add ice cream or serve it plain, I thought it would be a great way to celebrate the Solstice.  (We will also have other pie as well!)

So come out on Wednesday night at 7pm, to the old Auction Barn in Eaton on route 26, and taste our Strawberry Solstice treat and listen to stories from the past… including the history of salt, Hiawatha, and the once inland sea that is today’s Onondaga Lake... once the home of Sturgeon, Whitefish, the Onondaga Nation and CNY’s Salt industry!

A video of today's Onondaga Lake Park and Salt Museum!

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