Cherry Cheer

Back when we lived in suburban Maryland, we had a Queen Anne cherry tree in our front yard. Every year, we’d start tasting the cherries when they started looking good. For the first week or two they’d be sour, but one morning we’d sample one and find it to be lusciously sweet. My husband would then climb a ladder to gather as much fruit as possible. We’d just eat most of the cherries, but sometimes I’d make ice cream or a cobbler with the goods. When we sold that house, we closed right after the cherry tree was done fruiting for the year. I left the new owners a cherry cobbler and baking instructions in the freezer to welcome them to a house we had loved.

I have no cherry tree on my current property, so I have to make do with buying my cherries. I just picked up a fantastic box of cherries from Costco on Friday, and they are perfect–dark, sweet, juicy, with crisp flesh and a pit that’s easy to spit out. Sometime in the next few weeks, the sour cherries will arrive at the farmer’s markets. I plan to invest in at least a flat for the purpose of canning some sour cherry jam (my favorite variety). Sour cherries are also a great foil for rich meats like pork and duck. Their tartness is exactly what I need when greeting the first scorching temperatures of the season. Too bad those temperatures came so early this year…

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