A 1910 Picnic (With Thoughts of Cape Gooseberries?)

(Received?) your letter and wanted to answer long before this but was very busy. Will write before the pic-nic. Have you made all arrangements for that eventful day. I expect to see you then. Anna.

(Miss? Mrs.?) Harriet S. Kunkle must have stuck this postcard into a book with tape, as the back is torn in just that manner. I wonder how many years it stayed there, allowing for reminiscing of the picnic and of her friend Anna . . .

That was one hundred years ago. 1910. And the picture is of Cape Gooseberries. Also called Lantern Fruit, a relative of tomatillos, a pretty thing wrapped up in tissue paper by nature itself, dangling dancing so temptingly from its greenery-touched stems!

There are some lovely things you can make with this fruit if you happen to have it growing near you. Jams, of course – and tarts too. Here’s a story with some history of the fruit, right alongside a flavorful cake.

Somehow the way they look implies a sense of the precious, of the guarded – of treasures to be unfolded. Perhaps Anna had a similar feeling about the picnic she soon would attend, which she wrote of in such an almost-stiff manner?

Today is the start of a new year. I hope the corners peeked around in all our various ways will hold more treasures to be unwrapped than banana peels to slip upon! (And I also hope Anna’s dreams came true!)


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