Gooseberry bribery usually works

I was bribed into going to Jamesport with my mother over the weekend.

Bribed with a gooseberry pie.

Evidently the gooseberry is not well known. It’s a fruit — small, round, about the size of a marble, the color of a white grape and tart. Eating raw gooseberries is kind of like eating raw lemons — they’ll make you pucker, for sure.

Grandpa Smith, who lived in Trenton, Mo., and died in 1982, had a gooseberry bush in his backyard. They’re not very tall — maybe 4 feet — and the stems droop and take root when they touch the ground. They’re also thorny. I remember more than one run-in with those thorns. My mother used to have plastic bags of frozen gooseberries from that bush, and would use them to make pies. They’re tart and sweet, all at once. (The gooseberry bush died the year after my grandfather.)

Mom doesn’t make many pies anymore — and I know she doesn’t have any gooseberries left. But you can always find (or order) gooseberry pies from one of the Amish bakeries in Jamesport. And we did; it was our first stop when we got to town early Saturday morning. (Actually, we got two pies: she got cherry, I went back to pick up the still-hot-from-the-oven gooseberry pie a couple of hours later.)

Saturday night, we had a balanced diet of pie (and alcohol — I’m a bad influence on my mother) for dinner. I brought home the gooseberry pie, minus two slices. About half of it is left. The next trip to Jamesport is in two weeks, and then I’m demanding more gooseberry pie even if I have to freeze it.

More on the trip and family drama later.

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