Last weekend, a terrible thought hit me. “Summer is practically over,” I thought. “It might as well be September.”
But that’s crazy. Summer is far from over. Summer is merely at its peak. Summer tastes sweet, juicy and goes well with cream soda. You know how I know this? Because summer is currently on sale in one of its purest forms: cherries.
Prompted by what turned out to be a fantastic idea by Whole Foods, we threw a cherry party this week. That’s right. Cherry all the things.
Did you know that Michigan is the cherry capital of the world? In fact, according to Wikipedia, the Traverse City area alone produces up to 360,000,000 pounds of cherries per year.
I’ve never actually cooked with fresh cherries before. I’ve used dried ones in cookies and oatmeal but never used fresh. Part of my hesitation was that I generally preferred strawberries, having not tasted how good cherries could really be before this week. Part of my hesitation was due to this idea that cherries are hard to use. I mean, pits? Stems? Let’s just call the whole thing off. But no. Turns out, fresh cherries are actually really easy to use, especially if you make a small investment in the right hardware.
So I thought to myself…can I make an entire meal with cherries in every dish? Yes. Yes I can. Challenge accepted.
With recipes and bonus links below!
- cherry salsa (fresh sweet cherries, red onion, garlic, serrano peppers, lime juice and zest)
- cherry gazpacho (sweet cherries, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, oil, vinegar and basil)
Main course and side:
- sirloin-cherry burgers with melted brie (ground sirloin, chopped fresh cherries)
- cherry-cranberry coleslaw (coleslaw mix, dried cherries, dried cranberries, cherry syrup, vinegar and mayo)
- chocolate fondue with berries (cherries, raspberries and strawberries, marshmallows and graham crackers; fondue is semisweet chocolate, cream and amaretto liqueur)
- Cherry cream soda (cream soda with cherry syrup and Black Cherry Cream soda from Sprechers)
- Cherry mojito slushies (cherry syrup, lime juice and zest, fresh cherries, rum and mint)
- Cherry rum and cokes (cherry syrup, cane sugar Coca-Cola and dark rum)
Yes. It was a thing. A red, sweet, full-belly kind of thing. Any my challenge to you now is…what kind of cherry dishes are you going to make? If you haven’t tried experimenting with fresh cherries before, trust me–now is the time.
I’d also like to thank Whole Foods for the inspiration for this party, as well as providing me with a gift card to procure the ingredients.
[heading style=”2″]But Wait! There’s More![/heading]