I’m cheating by a day here, because the 12th is quite dull, but on the 13th, I go cherry picking with friends. Who knew this was a thing I’d ever do?
My friend Liz is crazy and wonderful and somehow stumbled across Platinum Ridge Orchard‘s awesome “rent your own cherry tree” offer prior to last summer, so she went ahead and rented one all for herself because her husband Jarod doesn’t even like cherries. (He’s also crazy, but clearly for different reasons.) When the time to pick said cherries arrives—you only get one pick per season, because the trees only fruit once—Liz gets in touch with a few of us and is like, “So… cherries?” and I am all too happy to jump in the car with them for a lovely drive down the channel where we meet up with some more pals to PICK. SOME. CHERRIES.
I’m not ashamed (ok I’m maybe a little bit ashamed) to admit that I didn’t really know what cherry trees looked like until today. I wasn’t sure exactly how cherries grew. Turns out it’s a lot like apples! (I didn’t really know what apple trees looked like either…)
When we get out there, the Orchard lady in charge of the picking (I think that’s her official title) checks Liz’s tree and isn’t happy with the amount of fruit on it, so we get a bonus tree. Two trees for the pickings. We have buckets and bags and boxes and we fill them with cherries. Some also go in our mouths. But most into the bags and boxes and buckets.
Platinum Ridge effectively ruins all other cherries for me forever. These cherries are the biggest, fattest, sweetest cherries I have ever eaten in my life and never again will another cherry measure up. Nope. I can’t imagine how. And yes, we are already planning on renting another cherry tree next season.
Once we get home, we all weigh our various collections of cherries and add the results up to discover we have picked twenty kilograms’ worth of cherries today. We’re not counting the ones that have gone in our mouths, or the ones we left on the trees because we called time on picking eventually because no human can eat that many cherries in three weeks. I fill the entire crisper section of my fridge with cherries. I have eight kilos of cherries alone.
I pin as many interesting-looking cherry recipes as I can and the next couple of weeks see us all get very creative with cherries. Cherry juice, cherry scones, cherry ice-cream, cherry pie, cherries in the face. Constant cherries. We have so many surplus cherries that we even have cherry treasure hunts.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier in my life. Happier, and constantly stained.
See you in twelve months, Platinum Ridge.