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Rainbow Kitchen

Cheery Cherries

By Allison St. Claire
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But these days, between farmers markets, organic fruits appearing in more supermarkets, and online sources, sour cherries are back in my freezer and tucked into or poured over a whole lot of delicious dishes.  And at our age, sour cherries can be a real blessing with loads of antioxidants and welcome relief for sore joints and arthritic pain.

I grew up with a sour cherry tree in our minuscule back yard in a large Midwestern city. I spent all my childhood summers – after cherry-picking time at home in Ohio – at my grandparents’ multi-generational farm in Pennsylvania where the sour cherries were ripening just as we arrived. Could there ever be a better part of summer than cherry season? Not for this sweaty, sticky, finger-lickin’ kid.

Perhaps it was no surprise that when my birthday rolled around the following April, my mother always found a couple of jars of canned cherries from the year before hidden away in the root cellar. She always prepared whatever we requested for our birthday dessert – and she knew I’d ask for cherry pie. Everyone else usually wanted her mocha chocolate cake, but we didn’t have a cacao tree handy – and although I never turned down a piece of that cake, if I wanted “Special,” I wanted sour cherries!

As a young bride in the ‘60s, I wanted to impress my husband (and, of course, treat myself) with cherry pie -- birthday or special occasion not required. But even with all those spectacular cherry blossoms just a few miles away surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., I hadn’t a clue where to find sour cherries. I tried canned cherry pie filling. Bleck! Oooey, gooey way over-sugared glop.

Scratch the cherry pies for a few decades.

But these days, between farmers markets, organic fruits appearing in more supermarkets, and online sources, sour cherries are back in my freezer and tucked into or poured over a whole lot of delicious dishes. And at our age, sour cherries can be a real blessing with loads of antioxidants and welcome relief for sore joints and arthritic pain.

Tis the season right now so here’s how to have cherries three ways in the same meal – or three different meals if you don’t share my cherry gluttony, or don’t want added sugar three times in the same meal (probably a very good plan).

 


Recipes:

Green Salad Gussied Up with Cherries, Nuts and Cheese

Pork Chops Smothered in Cherry Sauce

Cherry Creme Brulee


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Allison St. Claire loves to dream about, study, grow, play with, prepare and ultimately enjoy eating great food.


Meet Allison