a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jul, 2009

Moment of bliss #005

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Moments of bliss


Cherries are my Happy Fruit, my favourite fruit.

Bring me a bowl and I’ll be your friend forever.

There were two cherry trees in the backyard where I grew up in a suburb outside of Toronto. I loved them in the springtime, full of blossom and promise.

When the cherries were ripe I’d climb up into the tree and eat them right off the branch.

Biting into a cherry today brings it all back: the sound of my shoes scuffing on the tree trunk; the feel of the papery tree bark; limbs that made me wide embracing perches to sit upon; and the cherries themselves, so red they were almost black. Fat and juicy. It was a mercy to get them before the birds.

My mother told me I’d get sick if I drank milk on a stomach full of cherries. I’m not sure if there is any truth to that, but I still won’t combine potentially lethal dairy products with this lovely fruit for fear of my stomach exploding.   

My parents would pick many baskets of cherries which my mother often preserved in mason jars for us to eat during the cherryless months. The longer they sat on our basement shelf the more firmness and colour would disappear. Spooning these pale, soggy shadows of summer into dessert bowls was the saddest thing imaginable, and I never enjoyed them when they were like that.

7 Responses to "Moment of bliss #005"

1 | Sharon

July 22nd, 2009 at 7:48 am


I love cherries too and fresh peaches. MY Favorite mormery of fruit is more recent, we were in Niagara-on-the-lake and we drove by a peach farm that sold them, to eat peaches picked that morning was absolutely heavenly and BLISSFUL. Not something we do here in Quebec, mostly apples…peaches are almost exotitic!

2 | Jen_nifer

July 22nd, 2009 at 9:48 am


This year I have really enjoyed LOCAL strawberries. So much better than the ones from Mexico and the USA available year round.

I don’t have any experience mixing cherries and milk, but have seen it happen multiple times where toddlers mix grapes and milk with a quick return back up.

3 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

July 22nd, 2009 at 10:44 am


“Spooning these pale, soggy shadows of summer into dessert bowls was the saddest thing imaginable…”

GREAT sentence! It makes me laugh and tear up at the same time.

4 | MmmmFresh

July 22nd, 2009 at 3:53 pm


I really like this Moment of Bliss. It would also be on my list of Life Bliss. We too had cherry trees when I was growing up (near Leamington). Both sweet cherries which yielded tonnes of big fat dark cherries around the time school ended, followed by sour cherries in July. Any time I hear the sound of a flock of loud starlings in June, I think…”there must be a cherry tree nearby”. Man did we eat a lot of cherries. My parents had no rules about “ruining your supper” when it came to fresh fruit from the orchard. Cherries, peaches, currants, strawberries, tomatoes, pears, apples….unlimited and soooo good. My mother also preserved sour cherries (frozen) for making her famous cherry pies. But similar to your experience, they looked so “icky” compared to picked off the tree. I am ashamed to say that I never ever once even tasted my mother’s cherry pie (even though my brothers would fight for my piece) because the cherries looked….rotted. Ditto for apple pie. Funny how some kids just make up their minds about foods without even trying them. I also didn’t eat olives until I was in my twenties (and I now love them).
The lesson learned from having had this abundance of fresh fruit (and veggies) is that it really does taste better and it’s worth waiting for. I take my kids apple picking and we eat apples lying on our backs under the apple trees. We also pick strawberries and eat LOTS right there while picking them (I give the farmer an extra $10 when we check out). And I don’t eat strawberries unless they are local. Ever. Like Beaujolais, I celebrate each of the fruits’ seasons. I make a point of telling my kids when the various seasons start and we eat lots of local fruit / veggies. I hope they do the same for their kids.

5 | Carrie

July 23rd, 2009 at 12:03 am


Mmmmm! I love cherries.

(They are the very last orchard fruit that I am able to eat – the rest are on my Oral Allergy Syndrome list of “this will give you hives so don’t eat it!”.)

Try eating them chilled, along with a glass of rose wine. So tasty!

6 | Jared Sidwell

July 24th, 2009 at 11:35 pm


I worked for a fruit basket company in Hood River and every June/July I looked forward to the huge Bing and Rainier cherries that would come from The Dalles. We would buy 20 lbs of cherries fresh from the cherry orchards, chill them, and eat them until we couldn’t eat anymore. Many fruit baskets companies are shipping cherries right now. Make sure you are buying the cherries directly from the orchardists that grow them!! Your US farmer will appreciate it!

7 | Easy recipe for refrigerator pickles >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 3rd, 2014 at 5:06 am


[…] My parents used to preserve cherries we harvested from the trees in our backyard. The idea of canning berries and fruit and pickles and beans has always intimidated me, mostly because of the huge amount of effort involved and the fact that I  could kill someone as a result of my ineptitude or impatience with the process. (HELLO FOOD POISONING and BOTULISM.) […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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