Pableaux Johnson wrote rapturously about cherries and other fruit in the Hood River Valley in Oregon, and though I've never been there, his story had me thinking about a roadtrip.

The folks at Chefshop have been sending me many reminders about the fantastic cherries they will start shipping from Batch Family Farm in eastern Washington. I know you can get cherries at your local market starting right about now, but the Batch cherries are something special. I've had the Lapins, which are juicy and huge, with a deep cherry flavor. This year Chefshop is also selling BFF Sweetheart cherries, which are a new strain of sweet cherries first grown in British Columbia. These are picked right after the Lapins, in mid to late July.

These cherries are expensive (about 17 bucks a pound with shipping), but worth every penny.

Meg Hourihan wrote a lovely, lyrical post about successfully creating a dish without using a cookbook that any self-taught cook (like me) can relate to.

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