Friday, July 16, 2010


Today, as I was looking through my photos, the color red caught my eye much the same way that green did back in June.  This is a sign the Ex-Ex and I saw in downtown Durham one night as we were strolling around checking out some of the night spots.  (We love bulls in Durham, much the same way as they do in Arles, France-- could that be why I felt so at home there??)
This is how we spent a recent Friday night... a movie from redbox at Harris Teeter, Jimmy John's subs and Sweetwater Blue (not red!) beer.
This is one of the cute little red tomatoes from my deck.  The Ex-Ex was being funny.  He didn't even eat it.  I did.
The Stars and (red) stripes at the Durham Bulls game on July 4.  We won!
Fireworks from after the game--  "...and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air..."
My red Dutch oven with onions softening in olive oil to be used in ratatouille.

Another shot of the American flag's red stripes, this time from the recent Toby Keith concert at Walnut Creek (you can see his cowboy hat in the right bottom corner).
But if you want to see him up close and personal--
Wasn't it nice of him to dress in a red shirt just for me (the BFF will swear he did it just for her, of course)?
Red tomatoes from the Durham Farmers' Market.
A glass of red Côtes du Rhône with High Rock Lake in the background.
And now the star of this week's show-- red cherries.  I love them.  They are my favorite fruit.  Grandma Bell had a cherry tree in the back yard and I ate so many of them it is a wonder that I did not "founder" on them.  (That is a mountain saying which translates to eating so many that you get sick and can never again eat another one.)  Luckily, I did not do this and love them to this day.  I found them for only $1.99 a pound at a local grocery store and bought a couple of pounds.  High school-age son loves them, too, and likes to eat them even with the stem and pit still attached (he does not eat the stem and pit, though, thank goodness).  College age-son loves cherry pie.  My wonderful mother-in-law, the Ex-Ex's mom, started making the college age-son a cherry pie for his birthday when he was very young.  Needless to say, he is very fond of cherry pie.  The rest of us rarely get any.  We usually have to settle for pumpkin pie since his birthday is around Thanksgiving.
Anyway, I had these beautiful red cherries in my kitchen, getting very ripe.
I made cherry scones, using the lavender scone recipe (listed on the side of my blog home page), without the lavender.  You could add some almonds and / or almond flavoring, if you wish.  Scones are a wonderful breakfast treat.  I have made them often this summer with whatever fresh fruit just happens to be in the house-- peaches, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
We are leaving for a week at Sunset Beach tomorrow and I just could not waste the cherries.  So, I was inspired to make a lovely French dessert-- Cherry Clafoutis.  It is a cherry custard baked delight.  Not too sweet.  Fresh cherries make it so sinfully good.  If you have never tasted it, now is the time.  Fresh cherries won't be around much longer...

Cherry Clafoutis
(serves 6)
from My French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the dish
1-1/2 lb. sweet cherries, pitted
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for serving

Heat oven to 350F.  Butter a shallow oven-proof dish.  Spread the cherries in the dish.
Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl, mix together, and make a well in the middle.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs; add the milk and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Slowly pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, beating constantly until all the liquid has been added and you have a smooth batter.  Pour over the cherries.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the batter is firm to the touch and golden on top.  Sift with confectioners' sugar on top and serve just warm.

Bon appétit, les cerises!

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