The Independent (“Promising you low prices”) recently tricked me into purchasing a bag of sweet cherries. They put the cherries in their flyer – with no price – and then put the cherries on the end of a row – with no price. Both of these actions made me believe the cherries were on sale. But they were not. The cherries cost me $8.99. Gasp.
I’ve been telling people this story and pretending that I didn’t notice the cost until I was at home. But that is not true. I noticed when they were rung in. And for some reason – be it social pressure, fear of looking cheap or a pulsing desire for cherries – I didn’t say “No, Thank You”. Shame.
This bag of cherries was the same size that I previous purchased at Fresh Co. the week before for $3.99. So, with the trickery and memory of the previous purchase, I ended up with another bag. I told Emile the cost, but he did not seem to like the $8.99 any more than the $3.99.
I sat down with a book, the bottom half of the pricey cherries and a pit bowl. My fingers skimmed across each cherry – looking for the smoothest, firmest and sweetest cherry to savour. To often, my fingers skipped to the next one. And I found myself staring into a bag of fruit that while edible, had lost its peakness. I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy every single one of these cherries, so I started considering options – jam or baking. Not enough for jam, so baking it is.
I found a great recipe and started off.
When I was a kid, I grew up near the Okanogan Valley and Creston, BC. These two places were – and still are presumably – is where you got your fruit. Strawberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, grapes, apples, raspberries. Every year we’d have fresh fruit so sweet and warm and often delivered by my grandfather. I remember my little brother eating cherries until his face was purple and he couldn’t spend too much time away from the bathroom. I remember BC MacIntosh apples in the fall – that we kept on the porch. So sweet, so small, so crunchy. No matter where I get apples now, none compares.
I’d make jams with my mom. And I loved using her strawberry huller and cherry pitter. Vintage now, they were simple metal tools that easily did what you needed them to. And I missed that hand-held cherry pitter today.
I sliced each cherry with a knife and then picked out the pit with my thumb nail. Over and over again. My determination did not waver. Every single one of these cherries would be used.
I made three little cherry crumble ramekins – one for me, one for Emile and one for our guest Jefferson.
June 12, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Perfect Cherry Crumbles. Purple fingers.