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Cherries

Cerises Chez Jaques

Basket of Cherries

June is Cherry month in La Creuse… for a few precious weeks the trees throughout the countryside are filled with beautiful pink blossoms. Then, almost all at once the cherries are ripe- and then are gone. For a few days in early June we eat all the cherries we can stand- one’s yearly cherry ration in the matter of a few hours! Whatever is not eaten, packed into delicious Clafoutis, or sterilized into jars, will either rot or be taken by the birds if it’s not gathered fast enough… So Jaques called one day asking if I could come by that very afternoon for Cherry Picking- it was either now or never since the birds were already getting full! If we waited even a day longer they would be gone… So, I cancelled my plans for that afternoon and we headed to Eguzon gather all the cherries we could. (more…)

They Call Me “Bon Papa”

Finished Product

Bon Papa Brand Confiture

The wonderful cherry harvest was finally drawing to a close, and we had stuffed ourselves with as much of the fruit as possible before the rain the birds got to it. There still clung a few precious bundles of sweet fruit, and after three weeks of nearly daily visits to the cherry grove, I still wasn’t ready to surrender back to nature what remained of the year’s bounty.

After a few too many cherries eaten by the handful, eaten in pies, and in Clafoutis all over the village, there was still one rock left to uncover… Confiture.

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Clafoutis!

Finished Product

'Traditional' Cherry Clafoutis

Yes, there’s an exclamation mark in the title, that’s the way it needs to be.

Since late March when the cherry trees started blooming, I have been hearing about Clafoutis. Seems like every time the subject of cherries happens to come up (and often it is when the villages are all eying the multitude of cherry trees waiting for the fruit to ripen), a long conversation inevitably follows about how insanely delicious it is, how tasty it is, how fluffy it is, etc., etc., usually followed by a lot of lip smacking and drooling on the part of those in the know.

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Cherry Pickin’

I said to the [cherry] tree,
Sister, speak to me of Beauty.
And the [cherry] tree blossomed.

–Nikos Kazantzakis

Cherry Blossoms, Early March

Cherry Blossoms, Early March

Since late March when the cherry trees around the village bust into an amazing display of white or pink blossoms, we have been waiting and watching for the payoff.

Well, the time has finally come and we’ve been stuffed with cherries, filled buckets, pie pans, and jam jars and there’s no end in sight.

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