The problem with sites like CakeWrecks is that, without knowing the context, you can’t be sure the cake is actually a wreck – maybe it has some hidden meaning that everyone else just doesn’t get. As such, some of these ugly wedding cakes might actually be delightful, funny and meaningful to those in attendance. Okay, except for the cake that is a life-size version of the bride – that one is just narcissistic and creepy. [Village Voice: The Fork in the Road]
Most years, we’re savouring the first cherries right around now, as they normally ripen locally by the end of June. But if you’ve been frequenting the farmers’ markets, you’ve been eating cherries for weeks, since the sweet cherries, like most other seasonal produce, have come a full two weeks early.
The cherry is the fleshy stone fruit of the Prunus plant and comes in a range of sweet and sour varieties. There are over 1000 varieties of cherry but only about 10% of those are grown on a commercial scale. Most common are the sweet Bing, the sour Montmorency and the yellow-fleshed Rainier, although some Ontario farmers grow many more. If farmers’ don’t have their cherries labelled by variety at market, ask, because there are actually many varieties that are better tasting than those bland Bings.
The history of the cherry dates back to prehistoric times, and was introduced to England by Henry VIII. In North America, while wild cherries were native to the continent, the more traditional varieties we know were brought by French and English explorers and settlers. Prime cherry-growing regions include Southern Ontario, Michigan and British Columbia.
Although I try to eat a mostly seasonal diet, I’ve got to admit that in the dark months of January and February, I start craving fruit. Not just apples and pears, but bright juicy summer fruits like berries. At least once every winter I break down and come home from the grocery store with a bag of cherries, just because I really, really need them, even if they’re nowhere as good as the local cherries we get in the summertime.
Given that this week is the first National Eat Red Week (February 4th – February 10th), I don’t feel so bad about indulging in some cherries. Particularly since local tart cherries are available both dried and in juice concentrate form year round – Ontario is the sole producing province of commercially-grown tart cherries, most of which are the Montmorency variety, and over the past five years, the average annual crop has been an average of 10 million pounds.
The holiday was marred by mass homicides throughout the city. Victims were known to travel in groups, usually in green plastic baskets. These particular victims were last seen alive at the Liberty Village Farmer’s Market at approximately 10:35am where witnesses saw them leave the vicinity in the company of a red-headed woman dressed in black and wearing cat’s eye glasses who mumbled to them about pie.
Crime scene specialists have traced splatter patterns which indicate the use of a specially-designed weapon commonly known as a cherry-pitter. This device forces through the flesh removing the victim’s organs in one fell swoop.