Gone fruity

If you're into fresh produce like I am, this is the perfect time of year to be living in southern Wisconsin. I have a couple small gardens in an attempt to eek out a few fresh vegetables from the semi-sunny places in my yard. Just yesterday Stuart and I ate three carrots and two perfect, red tomatoes that were growing just outside the house. I have other things growing, some doing well (like the beets, the beans, the chard, and the bell peppers), some doing moderately well (like the onions), and some doing horribly (the garlic is, quite literally, a flop). In Madison, growing vegetables is more about recreation than necessity because farmers' markets abound. Last Saturday, for example, I loaded up with raspberries, Bing cherries and a bunch of vegetables, including so many zuccini that I had better get creative.

But the real treasure this week is from just across the street. Last weekend, our neighbor came over and told Stuart (I wasn't home) that they were going on vacation and that we were welcome to go to their yard and harvest their cherries. These are tart cherries, not for eating raw (unless you like the feeling of your face imploding), but for cooking. They are for making muffins, cakes, sauce for ice cream, and my dad's favorite food in the world: cherry pie. (How fortunate for my parents that they are coming to visit next week!) I've gone cherry-picking at least four times in the last week, and have about a gallon of cleaned, pitted cherries in my freezer. What with the farmers' market raspberries, and Michigan blueberries at Brennan's and the free cherries from across the street, our freezer is getting pretty full, but I'm sure I can find room to cram more in there - pint-size ziploc bags will fit anywhere!

One of the reasons I'm so happy about the cherries, though, is that it finally gives us an opening to get to know our neighbors. They seem like interesting people that we might have some things in common with, but we just haven't plucked up the courage to knock on their door and say "We've noticed that you, too, grow tomatoes in your front yard. How about that? Wanna be friends?" But they finally made the first move by offering us access to their cherry tree. The ball is in our court now. I suppose the next step is for me to make some cherry muffins or cherry cake or even a cherry pie and take it over there as a thank-you...and then who knows where this will lead?


Thorny said…
Just wanted to say "Hello!" and agree that the MI blueberries at Brennan's are awesome.

I found you via Shelly (The Heathen Housewife)'s blog, where she mentioned you'd sent yarn for her awesome blanket endeavor. As a fellow Madisonian, knitter and mama, I just had to drop by!

Popular Posts