This morning I did my usual Saturday farmers’ market run. I was a bit more pressed for time than usual, so I had to prioritize what I really needed, so I could whip in and whip out again.
Having found everything I needed very quickly, I decided I could reward myself by heading out via the middle aisle – a part of the market I frequently forget to visit, because none of my regular vendors are there and what is there seems to change a lot.
I’m going to have to file this away as a reason to deviate from my normal routine more, not less, often. Because the last time I went down there, I found spelt flour for the first time in Canberra. And today, I hit the jackpot again: I found a cherry stand that had, alongside piles and piles of sweet cherries, just a few boxes of sour cherries.
I’ve been in love with sour cherries ever since I first discovered them at a farmers’ market in western Mass. more than five years ago, but even at farmers’ markets they’re a rare commodity. It’s probably been three years since I’ve been able to get my hands on any; my supplier in Kansas had her sour cherry harvest flooded out by the Missouri River in 2011. Last year I asked every cherry seller I came across in Canberra if they had sour cherries; every single one told me no. I was convinced they weren’t even grown in Australia. And now here I am with 1.5 kg (3 lbs) on my hands!
Now the question is: what to do with them? I love the combination of sour cherries and peaches in baked goods, but peaches aren’t really in season yet. Maybe a plain cherry pie? I’ve never made one of those before. Jam? Or maybe I should plan ahead to Thanksgiving, and use them as a stand-in for the equally elusive (around here anyway) fresh cranberry?