When I met The Mister, he was ‘in the produce business’. Not in the grocery store; he ran the operations in the warehouse that received truck loads of produce from the fields of Colorado (corn and peaches), Arkansas (peaches), Texas (watermelon, grapefruit), California (crops too numerous to mention) and other places, depending on the season.
He introduced me to Rainier Cherries. He discovered them when he worked in produce houses in the beautiful state of Washington. I discovered them the first summer we knew each other, when he brought home a case of ‘Rainiers’ from work one July day. A case holds 16 pounds. I think we ate the whole case in about a week.
The next week, we ate another case…
Rainier cherries are the last seasonal food (in my world, anyway...). Of course, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables are better if purchased locally 'in season', but I do not know of any other food that is available for such a short time. I have had them from Chile in May (for Mother’s day?) and once for a week in June, we had California grown 'Raniers'. Neither region produces the huge sweet yellow and pink cherries like the ones grown in Washington.
The Mister and I honeymooned the first week of August in 1999. We ate the last of that season’s Raniers while boating around the Lake of the Ozarks. Every year as soon as the first cherries come into the grocery store, I start eating them by the handful. Even though the price often ‘shocks’ the checker at the grocery stores, (at first, the newer ones always ask, “you know these are more than the red ones, right?”), I buy them two or three pounds at a time.
My only hope is to eat until I am sick of them so that I can make it through the next 10 ½ months until the next Rainier cherry season!
It is a sad dependency, but I have no choice…