Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.
My Auntie Thyra called me this morning to tell me the foam berries are ripe. Of course, in the old way of relating, when an elder calls to “inform” me of something like this, I’ve learned to recognize the unspoken command. She never spoke the words directly, but I knew she was telling me to go.
It’s an interesting thing, really. I started craving foam berries last winter, and here Thyra calls me with an invitation to pick them.
The old people used to make “Indian Ice Cream” from the foam berries. It looks and feels like shaving cream, and tastes very bitter. I suppose it’s an acquired thing. I hated to eat it when I was a kid, but now I find myself missing it during our traditional dinners.
The Salish name for foam berries: sxwusm. The scientific name: Shepherdia Canadensis.