Tuesday, July 10, 2007

As many people know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It sings to me - a day to give thanks, a holiday that hasn't been corrupted by American consumerism, and a day (and in all honesty, it turns into days for me) of my favorite past time, cooking.

But this post really isn't about Thanksgiving. It's about sour cherries. Or rather, sour cherries is the reason I'm blogging about Thanksgiving in early July.

My first and regular contribution to the Thanksgiving meal started when I was young -- maybe 7 or 8 years old. I was in charge of the cherry pie, which I truly enjoyed constructing because of lattice work. While using canned pie filling (gasp), my mother did teach me a valuable skill having me make my own pastry crust. A skill I pride myself on these days (though I have yet to master Mari's whole wheat crust). As I evolved as a cook (coinciding with a competitive cooking streak between my father and I) and Thanksgiving became hugely gourmet at the Nelson household, the cherry pie went away. It was, afterall, made from a can and you know how I feel about overly starched syrupy fruit.

However, if Mari could obsess about rhubard, I am now obsessing about sour cherries -- and more importantly, access to sour cherries. They should be in season right now (in DC I would be making my blue berry sour cherry jam) and perfect for a real cherry pie, enhanced only by a touch of cinnamon. The cherries can of course be preserved, and stored for Thanksgiving, and I am a little more than excited to reintroduce the cherry pie.

But while cherries may be in season, they probably aren't ever going to make it Maine, and certainly not to our farmer's market. Quick aside on the farmer's market, I've been initially put off from our farmer's market because its lettuce lettuce and more lettuce. I complained about this to someone who said -- "its Maine; lettuce is the only thing in season until August." All the same, I don't think we grow cherries (rhubarb, peaches, pears, and apples.. but no cherries) and anticipating a dearth of my much needed fruit, my obsession is growing.

So.. question for this gang... anyone ever ordered fresh fruit directly from a distributor or whole saler and if so, could you provide me with some direction? If it turns out OK, I will in turn supply you with home made cherry pie filling.

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