I saw the shiny orbs of deep garnet bulging from the plastic bag they were packed in and knew I had to have them. The sale price posted above all but screamed my name so I chose a bag and gingerly placed it in my cart after turning it over to inspect its nether regions. I didn’t care how great the price was — there’s nothing worse than a rotten cherry, except perhaps a rotten grape.
I had no recipe in mind, which makes no difference when I can flip through seasonal magazines or Google Cherry Ice Cream regardless of what Julia Child may have thought about the dedication of cooks who do this to make decisions about what they’ll prepare when they haven’t planned. I’d like to say it’s more about seizing an opportunity which is what we have to do with seasonal products and if that makes me less than a serious cook to some, so be it.
My inevitable Google search led me to a site I’ve enjoyed since first beginning my own more than two years ago: 101 Cookbooks. And although the recipe I chose there didn’t include the Coke float I ended up making with my ice cream, it was certainly an excellent place to begin.
Are you lucky enough to remember ordering a vanilla or cherry Coke from an old fashioned soda shop or hamburger stand? Oh, the memories…
Being at Lis’ wedding this past weekend was an amazingly busy swirl of activity focused on obvious preparations, food, getting acquainted, food, 4am bed times, food, and then more food.
Did I say food?
Not much else can be expected from a group of serious foodies, right? I’m still in awe of the idea that people can meet through the Internet, converse for a year and a half in blog comments, cyber bake sessions, and more than a few phone calls in some cases, then meet — it all seeming surrealistically normal. Like I’d always known Lis, Helene and John. The wedding ceremony was tear inducing (I’m a sucker for big guys who are so obviously devoted to their wives), the reception an artfully decorated evening on the shores of stormy Lake Erie, and the cake something I wish I still had a slice or two of hidden deep in the freezer so I might sneak it out when no one was looking and nibble on it, savoring. Yes, very good times — and wistful, surprisingly. When you’ve spent so much time together for several days, and are so busy, once you’re gone, you think of all the conversations you might have had — questions you might have asked.
But there’s always next time, right?
In the meantime here’s a bit of tea and scones served up on my wedding dishes. I’ll imagine that my no longer invisible friends are sitting across the table with me. The rest of you can pull up a chair as well if you’d like a warm Cherry Orange Almond scone with Devonshire Cream and jam with a hot cup of Assam.
How do you like your tea?
When my husband and I got married oh so many years ago, we couldn’t afford an extravagant honeymoon, but we were able get away for a few days just to dream a little about possibilities. So we headed to San Francisco and stayed at what was then the Four Seasons Clift, a luxurious hotel where fluffy white robes waited for us, chocolates were placed on our pillows after housekeeping turned down our beds for the night, and room service — decadently ordered on our first night there — introduced us for the first time to gelato.
I’ll never forget the heavenly, creamy texture, and the just right sweetness of the vanilla scoops we enjoyed that night.
The hotel has changed ownership since then, and although still beautiful, it barely resembles the traditionally elegant place we spent the first few days of our married life. It’s now a sleek, sophisticated looking place that I’m not sure I’d feel entirely comfortable in.
I wonder if they still have gelato on their room service menu?
Next week,when we taste our first sample of gelato in Italy (and the following 10 or 15), I know we’ll smile and remember those three perfect days.