We visited friends in Eastern Washington last week and after the kids spent a couple of hours of picking from their trees, we had a boxful of beautiful fresh cherries to bring home.
I haven’t decided what to do with the lion’s share of them yet – jam? chutney? Or keep it simple and just pit & freeze? One thing I did know, there had to be a clafouti in our near future.
Often we invite a couple of close friends for dinner on Friday night. Just what we did the other night. We hadn’t seen each other in too long and needed a chance to catch up. I planned the menu to be simple and mostly make ahead, so that I could sit in the back yard with our friends and the kids and not be running back in the kitchen to check on this or that.
Friday Night Dinner – one of the first of the warm summer season
Blanched Green Beans with Basil Green Goddess Dip
Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Shrimp, Chicken and locally made Andouille sausage
Big Green Salad with mixed lettuces from our CSA
Julia Child’s Cherry Clafouti
The Jambalaya simmered in the slow-cooker all afternoon. All it needed was the shrimp at the last minute. I blanched the beans and made the dip about lunch-time. And late in the day my daughter and I spruced up the house and back yard a bit, and set the table. I talked one of my sons in to pitting the cherries with a little pitting gizmo I have, and since I wanted to serve the clafouti warm, I thought I would mix it up right before dinner and throw it in the oven. Then when we were ready to eat it in would be fragrant, creamy and fresh.
As soon as our friends arrived, I mixed up our first-of-the-season, long-awaited gin & tonics. We often use Aviation gin, which is made here in Portland, if you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it. The flavor is uniquely herbaceous, without being obtuse.
Well, that gin & tonic was surely the culprit. Probably not the first one, but definitely the second one (they were small, I promise!) I completely forgot about the clafouti. When I did finally remember and slap my hand to my forehead, our guests just said “oh never mind, we don’t need it anyway”. And my son said, “I pitted all those cherries for nothing?!”
Happily, I did let it go and enjoy the evening. After dinner we lit a fire in the fire pit and made s’mores. Who needs more dessert than that? A fine time was had by all.
The next morning I got up before the kids (as usual, they are teens after all) and made the clafouti. It was deemed a huge success “It tastes a lot like a Dutch Baby” they said. I don’t care for my desserts or my breakfasts to be too sweet and this fit the bill – a great combo with a cup of black coffee. I forgive the gin & tonics.