Things are changing, but even as they do, so much stays the same. Last week we went cherry picking, as we do, but it was a different, of course. We wore masks, even though many people chose to flout the rules and skip it. It was crowded, even though we went early. The workers told me that they didn’t expect the cherries to be around for more than a few days. They had only opened the day before and already had to close a section off because it was picked clean. I had this image of locusts descending on a field. Needless to say, it wasn’t the carefree event of years past.
We only picked a small bucket of cherries, about eight pounds. I still have cherries from last season in the freezer and canned cherries, so this time around is just for fresh eating. Maybe a pie or two. I made sure to reserve ten pounds of apricots as I walked in–it’s always a bonus of sweet cherry season that some early apricots are in. There are never very much, so they keep them at the register. You have to know these things.
The apricots were soft, and the pits were easy to remove. I almost didn’t need a knife: the velvety skin opened readily, and the pits practically fell out.