Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's Sour Cherry Time

sour cherries
Originally uploaded by michelle1975.

Just my luck that they should appear right now. In 24 hours, I will be in California, far away from the perfect sour cherries which call to me from the Jean Talon market. My timing is disastrous.

Our lovely tomatoes are ripening on the vine, including white heirloom ones which I've never tasted, and probably never will. I gave my sister instructions to pick them and eat them, then to write me and tell me what they were like.
The fennel is in flower, as is the coriander. Who will harvest the seeds? And let's not mention the pollen. It's too painful.
My mother's garden is overrun with the plumpest raspberries you've ever seen. I don't have time to do anything about it.
Blackberries, gooseberries, black raspberries, oh, God, the currants. Not them, too.

And I only had enough time to buy a half-flat of sour cherries which I used to make pickled sour cherries and a sour cherry almond preserve. What about my brandied cherries? And cherry syrup? Next year.

This frenzy reminds me of a hilarious passage I recently read in Beverley Nicols' charming book Merry Hall. One summer, he is called away from his house and garden on business. During those few weeks, he calls his manservant, Gaskin, every day to ask how the garden is doing, what is in bloom and does he think it will still be there when he returns. ("Don't you think you should put a bouquet of lilies in the cold room, in case?" He does.)

I hope you all take full advantage of the short sour cherry season in my absence.

What am I talking about? I'm going off on vacation...



Anonymous said...

Well, I can try. I promise there will be a few different jars of sour cherry preserves waiting for you when you get back. Maybe I'll even freeze a pie...
Bon voyage!

Karen said...

It must be fate. I am reading sour cherry recipes and planning a mini-vacation to Montreal. You have given me a new project....will they let me bring cherries across the border?

michelle said...

Camilla, I look forward to tasting the fruits of your labour.

Karen, fruit is a tough one. I find it depends on which customs officer you get. If you can convince them that your fruit is a snack for the road, they will let you go through. A bit hard to do if you have 20 lbs. of sour cherries. Good luck...