The Cherry on Top!

Just settling down to my blog on cherries and an email arrives with the subject – ‘feeling fruity?’ from Jamie Oliver – great minds think alike!

One of our best selling products in the Pampered Chef days was the cherry pitter – how can you live without one of these gadgets? Well Jamie Oliver has a little video with some ideas including this one… a simple trick? Use a paperclip as an instant cherry pitter. Simply bend the clip open, push it into the stem end of the cherry, rotate it around and pop out the pit. As an avid ‘popper of cherries’ I would simply ‘pop and spit’ as in pop those cherries in your mouth and spit out the pits, slightly less complicated…

Kent has so many cherry orchards see a quick list here. One of most delicious seasonal fruit, and yet available for a limited time – unlike so many of the other fruit and berries. Unfortunately today in our supermarkets, we do expect 100% availability of everything at any time of year but cherries are definitely the more rare which makes them even more of a sweet momentary treat. My Mum told me about a brilliant family investment which is your very own cherry tree. You can rent a cherry tree at this cherry orchard in Kent and they look after it for you but you go and pick the cherries as they are ready, fantastic idea! Here is the website if like me you are interested in having your own Kent Cherry tree! 

As you can tell these sinful fruits are a favourite of mine so I was thrilled to be invited to ‘The Cherry on top!’ a celebration of the Rainier Cherry.  Rainier Cherries named after Washington State’s largest mountain, Mt Rainier are not the dark red berry that we are used too, these are golden yellow with a pink to red blush and really naughty and sweet! This type of cherry is also most delicate inside and out, difficult to transport as they have a thinner skin so a must to devour by the handful during the 6-8 weeks they are in season. As I said we were celebrating National Rainier Cherry Day happening on July 11th and every July, what an honour  (they must be good) to have their own holiday! This is the peak of the Rainier cherry crop in Washington State, and is a good time to find the premium Rainier cherry on sale in this country too, particularly Marks & Spencer.  We were celebrating that evening in a gorgeous rustic barn outside Borehamwood (who would have known) just last Tuesday which was Tuesday 24th July 2018. The guest list included some very well known food bloggers, writers, and was hosted by Vegan Chef Aine Carlin (her website Pea Soup), talking about her latest cook book ‘Cook, Share, Eat, Vegan’. The menu was created and designed by the fab Marcus Bean from the Brompton Cookery School.  We chatted over the fire as he put the finishing touches on the Balsamic soy roasted garlic mushrooms over the Kadai Firebowl.

As mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago these cherries are no exception, mostly eaten fresh, but also make a great ingredient in sweet and savoury summer recipes. The vegan menu from the evening was truly inspiring with everything being gluten free, I don’t know where to start!

We were greeted with a refreshing raspberry and ginger shot with a stroll the grounds before seating down to our US countryside themed name tag and all the huge bowls of incredible food.

I found out lots about cherries on the night, particularly the health benefits of eating them. Here are a few:

Cherries are full of antioxidants.

Cherries are a potent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

They promote healthy sleep.

They can provide arthritis relief.

They lower the risk of gout attacks.

Cherry juice helps with reducing jet lag and how about this as a fact – snacking on 21 cherries is only equivalent to 100 calories!

 

 

Gallery of pictures from the celebration evening at Borehamwood and the delicious banquet:

 

 

 

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