Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cherry Lullaby

Dear Stoned Cherry,
This is a short story about waiting a long time-  you might sit there, and think that you don't have time to read a little paean to drupes, and so you might want to run along now.  If you do have the time, begin with this sweet song that has been around since the 15th century, which will help to put the next few minutes of our lives into historical and philosophical perspective.
I have never met a cherry I didn't like- I like their blossoms, I like their pits, I like they way they grow in twos, I like their color, their scent, their wood, and even the very word cherry- so close to cheery.  I love the rainiers, the morellos, the queen annes, and the bings- but cherries do not grow easily or well here at Twittering Patch, and over the years, most have perished one saddening way or another-  I make sculptures out of the their straight, sapling, hopeful remains.  But this Spring one of our orchard trees exploded in a cloud of white blossoms.  Then, even more surprising, green pips appeared!  They then grew into actual factual edible red cherries.  We ate about half of them right off the tree, hurrying to beat the birds and the deer.  The other two dozen we made into ersatz tarts. 
The little tree gave us Montmorency cherries- what they call a sour cherry: the spunky kind to be made into pies.  I could not be happier at our extreme good fortune in getting a small harvest this year.  It really does beat all!
Ersatz Cherry Tarts








If you have a little more time, you can set back and wait until winter and you can get yourself a bare root cherry tree and you can put it in the earth.  After a few more winters, maybe two, maybe four, you can make these tarts and you will have all the glory of a project completed after half a decade.  They are just cut squares of pastry with pitted halved cherries set on top- tip a spoonful of sugar over the cherries and bake them at 400 or 425 degrees, for 8 minutes or so.  They taste like a beautiful five years. 
If you do give your love a cherry, you might want to sing along, or play these easy guitar chords.