In one of the three segments that make up the film “New York Stories,” Rosanna Arquette plays the mistress of a shaggy SoHo artist (Nick Nolte). He is so obsessed with her that for one memorable moment, the entire screen goes black but for a pinpoint of light on her bracelet-girded, exceptionally erotic ankle. Something like that happens to me each summer when I spot sour cherries at the farmers market. Everything else goes dark.
Asparagus, strawberries and corn are beloved seasonal foods, too, I know. But you can probably pick them up in February at the supermarket (just don’t expect them to taste like much). Neglect to buy sour cherries this week, however, and you will almost certainly endure a whole interminable year before they return again.
What to do with these fleeting fruits? Truthfully, all I do is bake – adding them to chocolate cake, almond cake, coffee cake, making a cherry-apricot pie or maybe a crisp if I’m feeling lazy, or busy. Definitely clafouti – sour cherries are a game changer in the French baked pancake.
Each year, I vow to take a walk on the savory side. I intend to make sour cherry salsa (mix with chopped cilantro, onion, hot chili pepper) or barbecue sauce or pickled sour cherries, which I’ve enjoyed at restaurants with duck and pork. But who am I kidding? Chances are sour cherries will have vanished into cake, and into summer, long before I get to these. — PEGGY GRODINSKY