How Will You Celebrate Cherry Pie Day?
Thursday Feb 20 is National Cherry Pie Day, in honor of my favorite dessert
In the time-honored method of looking at lists on Wikipedia for article topics, I note that National Cherry Pie day is this week, and I think that's just spiffy! Cherries are my favorite fruit, cherry pie is my favorite pie, and if you blob a scoop of vanilla-cherry ice cream over the top of it, the result is my favorite dessert.
Just....look at it! LOOK AT IT!
I suspect - no, I in fact know the reason why this food holiday is in February. I went to the National Cherry Pie website where they talked about this devastatingly handsome man:
Even though George Washington was born on the 22nd of February, as a child we always got 20 February off of school for his birthday. Shrug emoji. The bridge from old George to cherry pie needs one more link; namely, the Legend of George Washington's Cherry Tree.
Every American schoolchild knows that George Washington was the most morally upstanding man that ever lived, because at six years old he cut down a cherry tree on his father's land (which spread out over half the area of current day Virginia & Maryland) and when questioned about it, told the truth, even though it meant a 'twitching'. Not sure how his old man would have missed one measly cherry tree, but that would ruin the narrative.
Thus, GW means February and cherries, so the bridge has been spanned for this ersatz holiday to worship something, yes, even more dear and sacred than pizza, my dear children. For I am borderline psychotic when it comes to my desire for anything cherries and, for certain, the best thing made of cherries, the pie.
Most American cherries are grown in Michigan, but the Door County region of Wisconsin is closer to my residence, and at least annually, we will embark on the pilgrimage for autumn colors, lakeshore scenes, and most of all, cherries. There are many roadside stands like the one pictured below, and we hit them all:
Fruit, and beer, and fruited beer.
I have perhaps only one or two special talents. One is quite surprising because under no circumstances would I appear to be undernourished. But as with the tamales I discussed last week, when I enter a market like this one, I tend to gaze at the lush cherries so gratefully that clerks cannot help but be touched by my worshipful manner. A couple of times I was even asked if I wanted to come in back to see the vast stores of cherries not usually visible to the public, I'm guessing.
Once, and only once, I had the distinct pleasure of being led past a huge cauldron of cherry pie filling being prepared, such as below:
Heaven, to me, would be if this was 20 feet wide and 5 feet deep
The purveyor above is mixing his filling with a long stick. When I visited, it was being mixed by hand by a gentleman wearing thick black rubber gloves. For giggles, I asked if they had a spare pair for me? Aaahhhh...they did. I spent probably three glorious minutes running my hands and lower arms through a veritable vat of heavenly love.
My wife refers to it as "the Cherry Pie Incident", but I find that unnecessarily harsh. Sure, my personal dignity went straight to hell. But nobody was harmed; no cherries were rendered unfit for human consumption. So "incident" isn't quite the proper word, since that implies some sort of harm occurred. Did I lick the gloves clean upon my exit from the pot? Reader, I did, yes. It was the freshest, most elemental cherry pie experience I, or anyone, could ever hope to have. But "incident"? Nah, that's pie shaming, and that's just wrong.