There I was, trotting along through the Elk Rapids Farmers Market, shopping bag bulging with perfect little red potatoes from Wells Family Farm, tomatoes and corn and peppers and cucumbers and eggplant from Altonens, when Beverly Fields’s booth stopped me in my tracks. Savory cheesecake. Three kinds. Oh mercy. This four-inch beauty, if memory serves, is the chipotle roasted pepper version. As memory often fails to serve, it might just as well be the Egyptian basil and sundried tomato version. It is not the olive and walnuts version because that looks different. I had to tell you about these before I forgot where I sampled them, because you would never forgive me if I knew about something like this and failed to mention it. The Fields family thrives in Kalkaska. You can find them at the Elk Rapids Farmers Market on Friday mornings, and you can call them at (231) 384-5944 to place special orders.
Now I have to show you my new toy. I saw it at the market, next to some of the last quarts of chilled, washed, dark sweet cherries you’re going to be able to buy at retail until next year.
I fell in love with that cherry pitter. The odd thing is that I’ve seen them before, and even taken pictures of them at the King Orchards farm market, but I always dismissed them as a novelty. Who needs a cherry pitter that does one cherry at a time? If you’re going to get a pitter, get a pitter and prepare enough for a whole winter’s worth of pies. Well. I’ve changed my mind. I had a vision of sitting at my desk, a bowl of chilled cherries at my side, pitter at the ready. Pit one, eat one. Pit another, eat another. No muss, no fuss, no sticky fingers, no pitching pits into the wastebasket for the Cowboy to get into.
I stopped off at Kings on my way home and bought one. I thought you’d like to see it in action. It is a marvel of simplicity. Screw the pitter onto the top of a nice clean empty little jam jar. (I have lots of these–let me know if you need one.) Place the cherry in the clever little indentation.
Press down in the approved manner.
The pits sequester themselves in the Cowboy-proof jar.
The beautifully pitted cherry is ready to eat. Enjoy.
You, too, can have some of the last of the dark sweet cherries, assuming that you are willing to spend a few minutes picking them yourself. Jim King and a bunch of the neighborhood kids show you how easy it is.
I picked some myself just before I took those photos, and I am short and cranky, so I know you can do it, you tall, svelte rascals you. But don’t dilly-dally. All of those cherries will be gone by Monday. (Not to weep–if you can’t go picking until the next weekend, you may have apricots instead, and peaches, and raspberries. And Rose King says the Ginger Gold apples will be ready by the middle of the month. Antrim County is generous in August.)