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Local Cherries – Not Just Great To Eat But A Part Of The Family!

June 30, 2010

Sage Boppa and Sky Picking Local Cherrries

Contributed by Casey Corbin

The crops are changing.  Corn made a Farmers Market debut last night and pints of blueberries and gooseberries are pushing out the cherries and strawberries.  I am hoping that there might be just enough cherries left at the market for one last round of pies in town.

The truth is that I have been thinking a lot about cherry pie this month.  In my life cherry pie means one of two things, either it is my brother’s birthday (cherry pie – not cake for that fellow growing up) or it is a perfect year at my parent’s house.  As my brother was born in February, for now the perfect year is weighing in.

My father has a Montmorency cherry tree.  We keep tabs on the lackadaisical pace of the tree, from dormant sticks through buds, flowers, teasing green fruits all the way to the profusion of red temptation.  Unfortunately the birds seem to share our passion for those sour red orbs so we cross our fingers each year for a share of the bounty.  On perfect years it all comes together.

Two years ago my daughter was visiting on just the right day.  She perched on the ladder and patiently plucked fruit after fruit.  My Father in turn held out the bucket for each plop and kept my girl from falling.  Then she went inside to my Mother.  They measured, mixed, rolled, stuffed and baked.  Together they all enjoyed the delicious treat and even sent a slice back for us to savor.  Whenever you get Sky near a play kitchen you are now guaranteed a carefully constructed pretend cherry pie.

This year my father and daughter were joined in the cherry picking by a larger crew of family.  My Father, Mother, Daughter, Son, Husband, Sister-in-law, Nephew and of course myself all tackled that tree together and made one excellent pie.  I ended up with the cooking duty this round and went about it in my less than predictable manner.  I have difficulty embracing recipes or measuring cups.  It is sometimes a fault and other times a blessing.  Thankfully I managed to turn out a flaky whole wheat flax crust; filled beyond the brim with not too sweet juiciness all topped with what my nephew decided was a cookie (think crumble crust).  Eight people, eight slices of pie.  Poof, we were in happy delirium.  Sadly, my brother will have to wait until his birthday to partake . . .

Young Sky Making Pie With Local Cherries

The fruit has encountered several variations year after year – and never comes out quite the same, but sitting around the table and devouring is always the same.  We are silent and embraced by something delicious.

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