Under The Cherry Moon


Mother Nature is a wonderful woman. She gives air, sunshine, water and land and only asks us to respect her and take care of her offerings. She also silently requires us to cater and tolerate her whims. I understand the deal. It’s a dance we’ve been doing since the beginning of time.

However, right now, Mama Nature has one-upped us and I just can’t sit here in silence a moment longer. Every year, right about now, I get giddy with excitement over the season’s first California cherries. Yes, I know that in just a bit I’ll be able to indulge my cravings in Pacific Northwest cherries (which are always utterly fantastic) but seeing the first little crimson splash of a California cherry lets me know that a long, wonderful summer is on the way.

Well folks, those cherries are here. And you’ll need to rob a bank to enjoy them.

My produce guy informed me that cherries are here but cost a pretty penny due to a variety of factors. They’ve never been cheap, but when they cost $15.99 a pound one is more inclined to wait just a few weeks to see what happens. I’ll hit the farmer’s market in Santa Monica this weekend to get some more info, and if all else fails I know there will be new arrivals in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I bit the bullet and indulged this week and in order to compensate for the cash spent I’m available for laundry, dog walking and dance lessons. I do a mean electic slide.

Easy Cherries Jubilee
As much as I love cherries I’m not particularly gung-ho about cherry desserts. And I won’t even touch the stuff out of a can. However, I do love ice cream. And fresh cherries. This is my easy take on Cherries Jubilee and is simple and quick. I omit the arrowroot and cornstarch found in other recipes as I don’t mind it not so thick. It never lasts too long anyway.

2 cups of fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup of sugar
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup Cognac

Using a non-stick pan, cook pitted cherries and sugar over medium heat for 8-9 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. In a small pan, heat the cognac. Once heated, light and pour the flaming cognac into the cherry mixture in the skillet. Spoon flaming cherries with their syrup over the vanilla ice cream in four dessert bowls. Work fast and please use caution when igniting the cognac.


  1. says

    Like you, I don’t find myself salivating over cherry selections on the dessert cart. However, I do like fresh cherries AND I do love setting things on fire. It would be a kick to combine the two. I’ll wave the dogs and any bystanders far from the kitchen and give this a try some evening. I’ll make it a point to be sober too. :)

  2. says

    oh heavens to mergatroid… i believe you know my love of california cherries. but at that price??? who can afford a plane ticket AND a couple of pounds of cherries…

    love the recipe for jubilee! i love cherries jubilee, and this one looks really easy! you’re the master.

  3. says

    I´m not that convinced about cherry desserts either. Every year I think I´ll make clafoutis, but then never do. It´s very hard to beat a bowl of cherries on ice.

  4. says

    BE-YEW-TIFUL photo of the cherries, man!

    if i was not so hazardous to myself in the kitchen as it is, i would attempt your recipe. but any process that involves a disclaimer “please use caution when igniting”…yeah, i should probably just dream about it. :)

  5. says

    O juicy and delicious. Cherries are here.

    So, Matt, I am going to use your blog comments to ask for a little personal advice. I am visiting LA and SF in a couple weeks for a friend’s wedding and some (shocking!) actual and overdue vacation time.

    I am all set for two days of blissful eating in SF, due to proximity to Chinatown, the Ferry Plaza and farmer’s market and long awaited visits to Scharffen Berger and Chez Panisse Cafe.

    However, I will be in LA a little longer and wondered if you had any recommendations. I’ll be on a budget, and splitting my week between Westwood and Hollywood (Thai Town/Los Feliz). My instinct is to eat nothing but Thai food (Sanamluang, the celebrated Palms, etc) with a little side trip to Diddy Riese. Any suggestions for branching out? I would be most grateful!

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