Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The Trouble with Cherries
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