More Than A Snack
I have always known that freshly-picked, local fruit is the best. It stands to reason when you figure that it can be at its best when it isn't picked slightly (or even completely) unripe to withstand shipment. So, when one of our adorable neighborhood kids, who just graduated from college (Congratulations, Jamie!), went to visit her boyfriend's family cherry ranch in Brentwood and returned with a huge sack of Bing cherries picked the same day, I knew we were in for a treat.
The Bloomfield Cherries ranch is one of several in Brentwood, CA that grow cherries and allow people to come and pick their own. It's a healthy and delightful outing to drive out to the orchards where Mother Nature - and the Bloomfield family - are making sweet, dark miracles. They also sell picked cherries, but wouldn't picking your own be more fun?
And Bing cherries are not their only offering - you could choose more unusual varieties that rarely make it to the supermarkets, like Coral, Brooks, Utah Giant, Rainier, Sweetheart or Lapin.
We put a handful of the cherries next to some almonds, a piece of brie and some crackers - more than a snack, more like a feast - while we watched the evening news. Everything was fine but the standouts on the board were definitely the cherries. Sweet and so juicy that we had cherry stains on our fingers and the bedspread, they were the essence of spring.