Wednesday, June 11, 2008

With a Cherry on Top

The month of June, in addition to holding the first day of summer and being the second most popular wedding month, is the peak season for many fruits and flowers. Cherries in particular reach perfection throughout June and are great freshly picked and for cooking.

Growing almost 75% of the countries tart cherries, Michigan is now finding new ways to make use of their cherry abundance. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City, Michigan features “cherry-themed services” throughout the resort. Used for facial crèmes, in foot baths, and as design throughout their building.

Whether you favor Bing cherries, which are of highest demand, Tart cherries that are found to relieve arthritic pains, or cherry juice which is good alone or with a little vodka added, now is the time to get to the market and put your own creative touch on the cherry world!

Here are two of my favorite cherry recipes:

The Chocolate Cherry Martini:

2 ounces chocolate-flavored liqueur
2 ounces cherry wine
2 fluid ounces vodka
Chocolate-covered cherry

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Add the chocolate, cherry liqueur and vodka to the shaker.
3. Shake very very briskly to mix and chill.
4. Strain into a chilled martini glass that you drizzled the chocolate syrup into.
5. Garnish with the Chocolate covered Cherries.

Macerated Cherries with Vanilla Ice-cream:

1 C. sugar
1 C. water
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. rum
1 C. cherries, stems on

1. Combine sugar and water thoroughly in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat, add vanilla and rum, and stir.
3. Drop in cherries and let soak overnight.
4. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream the next day.

I’d love to hear your comments and some of your own cherry recipes!