Cherries for me have always meant summer -- after all what can top a big bowl of fresh cherries right off the tree? As a kid, growing up in SoCal, cherries were only to be found in the grocery store and then, rationed by my mom. The rationing was a strategy she used so my brother and I wouldn't fight over who got more! Kids...it's always something. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Today on my jaunt to Bauman's Farms here in Woodburn, I was so excited, just thinking I would get the last strawberries of the season. Weather being what it has been here, strawberry season was oh too short. I guess strawberries need a lot of sunshine and warmer temperatures to truly mature and sweeten. And since we've had neither of those two things in any quantity to mention, strawberries were on the short list.
But don't despair -- even better than strawberries fresh from the field -- Bauman's had Rainier cherries to delight my senses. Piles and piles and piles of beautiful red, just waiting to be bitten, cherries. Now, I know there are all types of cherries in the world...but those of the Rainier variety happen to be my favorite. Lamberts take a close second and Bings are third. And, please don't even think about offerring me a cooked cherry anything -- in my mind cherries are meant to be eaten raw. When in NYC I waited for the first sign of Rainers in the green grocer's on the corner in my neighborhood. Then I would buy them every day until they were gone; but honestly, they never tasted like those you get fresh-picked from the tree. I never saw any at the Farmer's Markets which leads me to think that they are only grown in this part of the world.
So -- lucky for me -- Rainier cherries for breakfast, lunch and dinner until I can't find them any longer. I have to stop now, it's very challenging to type with one hand and eat cherries and spit out pits with the other. So...cherries rule today! It's a bit of a consolation prize for putting up with gray skies and rain and temps in the low 60s. In case you doubt my weather-reporting skills -- the picture of the weather vane at Bauman's gives you a pretty good indication that I don't speak untruths.