Sunday, July 24, 2011
The sound of a summer breeze in massive old trees, washing over in rhythmic wave sets, on a hot quiet afternoon, has a nap-inducing effect. This is a nostalgic sound from my childhood as I lay in bed at night, often accompanied by dim distant flashes of heat lightning. Walking by the nearby farms, I watch the water skippers glide like ice skaters on the irrigation ditches. I recollect many quick dips into the canals to cool off during meandering bike rides and the searches for fat pollywogs to bring home in glass canning jars. The trick was to be dry upon returning home to avoid a scolding. The pollywogs weren't particularly welcome either. The only time when I can eat a perfect cherry is when I'm visiting my mother in July. The local bing cherries are enormous, impossible to fit in a cherry stoner, deep deep burgundy, nearly black, intensely flavored and sweet; nothing like what you see in the grocery stores, not even in Whole Foods. My favorite though are the tart Montmorency pie cherries that are difficult to find unless you pick them yourself. Nothing says summer like a homemade cherry pie and hand-cranked homemade vanilla ice cream on an afternoon after a nice nap with the sound of the breeze in the trees.