Royal Anne Cherries
It’s cherry season and they are less now than when they first came in to the stores. We have been buying Rainier cherries, though I feel they are just like the Royal Annes we had when I was growing up. I looked it up and the Royal Annes are smaller, not as flavorful – I remember them as delicious. Who ever planted them next to the garage – espaliered across the side – didn’t understand long terms effects.
They were already planted and tall, producing the most wonderful cherries. As I stand at the kitchen counter eating Rainier cherries, I am sent back to being a little girl in the summer time. I would walk down the sidewalk and pull a branch down to eat my fill of cherries. It’s a wonder I didn’t get sick to my stomach.
When Eddie and I would come back to visit Mom and Dad, he would enjoy them as much as I did. I remember one day when the two of them climbed on the roof and picked a big bowl of cherries. Later they sat eating cherries while watching baseball.
Imagine 2 very large cherry trees right up next to the garage. I think I have a picture somewhere, but it will take a while to find it.
We also had “the little cherry tree” near the two – it was a pollinator and the bird made sure we never had any of those. They did a pretty good job on the Royal Annes, but there were so many on the trees that there was enough for everyone. I’m sure there were little furry creatures from the canyon that came in the night for their share as well. Those trees served us very well.
It seemed in later years the trees had less fruit and the wildlife managed to abscond with most of the cherries before we had a chance. Then came a point when they grew too big and began to push the garage over. When I looked at the garage from the street, it listed to starboard. So Mom and Dad had to have them cut down, but left the “little tree”. Somehow two other trees grew over on the edge of the property to the north. The wildlife took care of any fruit they might have produced.
Finally they began to look so sad, dying and shriveling up the leaves. So I had John come over last year and cut them down, that was hard to see happen. I still have the tree trucks, John sawed them up in wood slices and I have used them in my three beds. So they are still useful and not completely gone.
The blackberries are also ripening now – they seem to take over everywhere. Reminds me a bit of kudzu in Atlanta. These have wonderful, juicy blackberries, but this vines and thorns will tear you to ribbons at the blink of an eye. Believe me, it’s hard work but the results are delicious – once you attend to the wounds.
What I remember most were the tiny blackberries that grew in the fields. They have tiny thorns that stuck me and stayed in there for a long time. We used to call it “frying our brains” because we were in the sun and it was hot. We would see if we could gather enough for a pie, one year we even picked enough for jam.
We also had raspberries bushes, I would pick in the morning and then late in the afternoon it would like as if I hadn’t picked any. We had lots of those for breakfast, Mom made jam and many went from bush to mouth. We had blueberries as well, loved the blueberry pancakes in the morning, though plain blueberries in a bowl were lovely. Picking blueberries was easy, not thorns and the bushes were just next to the back porch.
Funny how eating fruit takes me back to my childhood; the taste, smell, texture all bring pictures to my mind of when and how I used to eat, pick and enjoy each one.