Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Trouble with Cherries

Courtesy of the California Cherry Advisory Board
They all claim to be nature's perfect food, right? The majestic banana. The ripe avocado. The California raisin. But in my book? The perfect summer treat is a handful of cherries. Crisp, sweet, fresh cherries.

Seriously, look at them. Who can help but love their sensuous roundness, their delicate stem, the first burst of flavor when you sink your teeth in?

You never quite know what you're getting with the cherry, either. You can't quite figure out which one will be the sweetest, which will be tart -- at least I can't. Just when I think I have broken the code -- "Ah yes! The smaller ones have very little flavor!" -- then I bite into a small one that is the perfect mixture of tart and sweet.

I love cherries. My fondest childhood memories involve mouthfuls of warm cherry cobbler - no ice cream, no whipped cream, just the cobbler fresh from the oven, still bubbling. At Christmas there were more cherries, albeit the maraschino, cordialed kind. No matter. I still ate them. For the life of me, I couldn't fathom why the father of our country, George Washington, would chop down one of nature's perfect givers, the cherry tree!? (I know, I know...that's a bit of a legend...)

No matter what the chemists try to invent, no matter how many types of cherry flavoring they concoct, no one can recreate what God has perfected. That simple little fruit that hangs in bunches on the bountiful trees and is eventually picked and shipped to cherry lovers like me all over the country can't be copied. If it weren't for transport, I suspect I should have to move to California, just to get my fix of everything they supply to me every year.

If you can't already tell, I've got a bowl of the little babies in my fridge, ready for a light snack or dessert. I put some out on the table at dinner tonight to share with The Boy.

This 6'5" tree trunk of a guy looked at the bowl of cherries winking mildly up at him and said, "Are they the pitted kind?"

Me, with an eyebrow raised: "They're all the pitted kind."

He: "I can't eat the pitted kind."

Me: "You just eat around it and spit it out!"

He: "I have trouble doing that. I don't want to break a tooth." (visions of poor Josie danced in my head).

Me (with an audible sigh): "Then bite half off of the pit, turn it around and bite the other half off."

He lifted a cherry to his mouth, dubiously, and tried to bite with his incisors. Maybe the fruit was too chilled for him. He moved it to his molars. He caught me looking at him as though he'd grown another head. We both burst into laughter.

He: "I told you I have trouble with cherries!"

Me: "If that don't beat a rooster wearin' flip-flops..."

I rescued my bowl of cherries from further humiliation and cast one more raised eyebrow at him.

More for me.

Peace - D


Brian said...

Those are the only cherries I'll eat.

Daryl said...

Husband likes the very dark red, hard ones ... and he likes 'em icy cold ... however they are damn expensive for something thats gone almost as fast I bring them home, wash them off and put them in a bowl.


Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Momma, this is my favourite post today, by a cherry mile! Yummy...cherries are my favourite. They are so expensive up here in Canada, I don't know why. That only makes them seem more precious.

What a well written articulate post, saying everything there is to say about how delicious and beautiful these fruits are.

They really are the cherry on top of the cake, arent' they!

Maggie May said...

OH! The shops are all shut and now you have got me wanting cherries, as your bowl looked SO inviting!
I have always liked fresh cherries and fresh raspberries, not together!

Doris said...

Ooo I love rich plump fresh cherries. Can not bear any form of cherry flavouring nor glace or maraschino cherries. I once saw a programme about the production of glace cherries which involves bleaching and then colouring... no wonder I don't like them.

Very funny with the convo about are they the pitted kind! Can one buy fresh cherries that are pitted? But that's part of the fun sucking every juicy molecule off the stones.

Nice of you to visit me via our mutual friend Jay :-)

Jay said...

Hey, there - who's been visiting without me? LOL!

Cherries - I bought some today! What a coincidence! I love the sweet juicy black ones, and I love the red and yellow ones too, but we dont' see too many of those here. I love them. Did I say that? Mmmmm!!!

'Are they the pitted kind?' Hahahaha!

Jennifer H said...

So this is a cop-out, but Williams-Sonoma sells a cherry/olive pitter for $12.

Maybe The Boy could use one?

Also, if you're really talented, you can tie a knot in a cherry stem with your mouth.

I can. ;-)

Momma said...

Brian - I hear you!

Daryl - Oh yes, expensive but oh so good. Just look at them like they are the Godiva of the fruit world.

Lavinia - Cherries are pretty expensive here now, too, but so worth it!

Maggie - I hope you get some cherries in the morning! (And it isn't exactly my bowl. I used a free image from the California Cherry Advisory Board (yes, there is such a place!). Theirs was much better than mine would have been.

Doris - That is pretty gross about the bleached cherries! Bleh! I'll stick with fresh or frozen. :-)

Jay - Yeah, that conversation was classic. Sometimes you've gotta capture those moments...

Jennifer - Oh, no - Momma's not making it that easy for The Boy. I believe you have to work for your fruit :-) And wow, I hope my hubby doesn't read your little p.s. there ;-) I'm afraid I'm a little out of practice!

Peace - D

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oooo, yum! Cherries are great. And that picture makes me hungry! I have to admit, though, that my favorite summer fruit is peaches. Oh. My. Goodness. Sliced ripe peaches on vanilla ice cream.


Sandy said...

"If that don't beat a rooster wearin' flip-flops..." -- I LOVE that!!! LOL

Momma said...

CMGD - Loves me some peaches, too. Fresh ONLY.

Sandy - Glad you liked it. Actually I swiped that one off of a friend from Mississippi who said that long ago and sent me into peals of laughter. But it's become part of my lexicon now.

Peace - D