When I was a little girl we planted three cherry trees in our backyard. The trees and I grew up together, and by the time I was 8 years old they were hanging over the fence dripping with fruit. Strangers would knock on our door and ask to pick the cherries, and we would send them home with buckets filled to the brim. We lived with such an abundance that it was a relief to give them away. I spent summer after summer in those low lying branches, dappled in sunlight, filling my belly…
These carefree memories exist in contrast to my present day life as a single mother to a little boy with special needs; and for that reason they especially precious. But my relationship with my childhood trees goes beyond nostalgia — it’s emblematic of the romance between trees and humans, the reciprocity of life everything shares. After all, a perfect cherry is an edible seduction, it says, "pick me… you know you want to eat me," while the hard stone inside says, "you can’t eat me -- throw me away." By simply tasting a tree’s sweet fruits and tossing the stones we ensure new saplings will grow beyond the shade of their parents, participants in the tree’s reproductive cycle. As long as cherries are eaten and scattered to the wilds, the lifeline of cherry trees will continue!
To me, a cherry is always a cause for celebration. Sure, plenty of things are sweeter than a ripe cherry, but does anything need to be? A ripe juicy cherry transcends a candy bar for the simple fact that it grew on a tree as an expression of life, and let’s face it, life is some sexy business. All together, these sentiments informed the title of my mashup comic/recipe book "No Sweeter Than The Ripest Cherry," as well as the inspiration, values, and remembrance explored here on this site. Over this webbed fence I offer you the sweet fruits of my insights, musings, recipes and experiences to pick and enjoy.
“Suzie Bohannon is a national treasure.”