Monday, June 25, 2012

Grandma's Treats

Every grandmother is remembered by at least one food item frequently found at her house.  When I was a kid, my granny had a bottomless bowl full of plain M&M's on the coffee table at ALL times.  No matter how frequently my brother, cousins, and I raided it, the bowl would always runneth over with chocolaty goodness. She must have gone through a hundred bags of candy when we were around.  We'd  fill our pockets with chocolate for sustenance before heading out to play in the field behind the house and before catching tadpoles in the ditch. Good thing M&M's melt in your mouth, not in your... pockets.  My mom would never have allowed us to eat our weight in chocolate, but Granny always spoiled us rotten!

Yesterday, as we walked through the grocery store, I figured out one small thing that my children will remember finding at their grandma's house. Sweet, gorgeous Ranier Cherries.  When we walked by them in the produce department, my kids begged me to buy some for them.  But at $5.99 a pound, I said, "No Way, Jose'!"  Their response... "That's OK, we'll have some at Grandma's house!"  Yes, my mother-in-law stocks this little luxury fruit every year around the 4th of July. It just wouldn't feel like Independence Day without them sitting in a little bowl at Grandma's house.  Ranier Cherries are like the caviar and fine wine of the fruit world, and each one is to be savored for it's sweet, juicy goodness. My kids know that Ranier's aren't just any old cherries, they must be eaten slowly to get the most flavor out of every plump little fruit. When they're gone, they're gone, and it will be a whole year before we taste their deliciousness again. 

Rainier cherries hang from a tree in the Yakima Valley at Olmstead Orchards. See more photos in the gallery. Photo: Gilbert W. Arias/Seattle Post-Intelligencer / SL
 Photo: Gilbert W. Arias/Seattle Post-Intelligencer / SL

The first time my oldest child ate a Ranier cherry, it was purely by accident.  He was just a little thing, and he grabbed a handful of cherries with his chubby little fist at Grandma's house while I wasn't looking. By the time I figured out that he had a cherry in his mouth, he had swallowed the whole darn thing, pit and all! Being a nervous new mom, I was sure he was going to end up with some sort of blockage from the seed that required a trip to the ER.  I didn't rest easy until the cherry pit ended up in his diaper the next day.  I wised up a lot by the time child number two and three came along.  I watched them like a hawk around the cherry bowl, and pitted everything before it went into their little mouths.

I can most assuredly say that with every one of my kids, when it came to Ranier Cherries, it was love at first bite.

Thank heaven for grandmas who splurge a little so their grand-kids can experience a bowl full of the finer things in life.


  1. Aw, what sweet memories! Love ranier and bing cherries, we buy them from a co-op out of Oregon and when they go on sale get them for $3 a pound. One year Walmart marked them down to $1.00 a pound and we made gobs of cherry jam. Good stuff!

  2. Love the story...reminds me of going to my grandma's and how my boys have the same kind of memories!

  3. Man, they must charge 5.00 to come this much farther East. I looked at them at Sam's last week, and just couldn't pay $10 bucks, no matter how tasty they are!
    I always remember my Pappy having fig newtons, and other Little Debbie snacks around.

  4. Such a sweet story....I do believe that my grandson, he's 2 1/2 will remember G'ma's house for the Lemonade Popsicles (Edy's). My son commented on "Wow mom, we never got the good popsicles". I just had to smile to myself :)