08 June 2010

Early-morning pitting

Standing in front of the kitchen sink at 6:00 a.m., pitting cherries with a paring knife. Big, dark red, slightly overripe cherries. A gift from friends who have a big cherry tree in their yard, at their new house in France.

The pits, the trimmings, ...

It's a good thing to do when, for whatever reason, you can't sleep early in the morning. Goals: (1) save the cherries before they go bad; (2) make a cherry cake; (3) eat and enjoy for dessert at lunchtime.

... and the cherries

A slice of life in Saint-Aignan, where there are way too many cherry trees, and where the fruit all ripens at the same time. Now back to the kitchen to make the batter and bake the cake.


  1. It is certainly more rewarding than sit at the computer and try to find something interesting in the cyberspace. Keep a slice for me, please.

  2. Oh boy!! Can't WAIT to see the cake!!!

  3. Mmmm, I foresee good cake in your future...and purple fingers :)

  4. Ken, are your French cherries full of flavour? We don't have cherry trees here in the C.I. and have to resort to supermarket ones, and I've never yet bought any with any semblance of cherry flavour whatsoever!

  5. Well, chm, you found something
    in cyberspace which is always
    interesting -- Ken's blog!

  6. I ♥ cyberspace- we wouldn't know each other without it, would we? It sure beats cable tv with all its stations.

    Ken, my Dad once lived in a place called Mount Eden, but I bet it didn't have as many fruit trees as you have. I suppose you are eating the same fruits as the French nobility did hundreds of years ago. The cooks were probably up at dawn back then pitting cherries just like you were today.

  7. That's me, with Santa Rosa plums! I enjoy it, and it sounds like you do too. Good thing.

  8. There is a big old cherry tree in the yard of our gite too and the cherries are so good. Our landlady made a cherry clafouti (sp?) that was really delicious. My daughters and I have picked all the reachable cherries, we need a ladder now.

  9. Chris, I do enjoy it. The cherry cake, with a cherry compote, is good.

    Lynn, we'd be glad to bring a ladder except it won't fit in our little Peugeot. Maybe we can just bump the tree and hope the cherries fall off!

    Evelyn, yes. Exactly, on both points.

    Stella, frankly, the cherries vary from year to year and even day to day, and of course from variety to variety. But they are good. They definitely taste like cherries should taste. If not, I add some kirsch!

    Meredith, fingers slightly purple but worth it.

    Leesa, cake photos to come.

    CHM, cyberspace is like cable or satellite TV -- so many channels and nothing on.

  10. Simon and Susan kindly presented us with a box of cherries freshly picked before we left LGP. They are absolutely delicious. There will be none left over to make a cake but I look forward to seeing your recipe !!!

  11. 06h00?? Good grief, is that a normal hour for you guys to be up and about?

  12. You need a cherry pipper. I've got one and it's absolutely brilliant - the cherries are pipped in a fraction of the time it takes to do it with a paring knife. When we had a glut the other year I was able to freeze loads and they have been brilliant for desserts. cherry crumble etc. I'm sure you know some excellent recipes. i also have a recipe for cherry jam which worked out very well.


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