The Most Important Things...

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to where your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.

~Stephen King~

My George Washington Pie

I was pulling out of the driveway one morning recently when I noticed this:

Look at this close-up

Is this tree loaded down or what?

I thought that I would sample a few of these cherries and they were most desirous to the taste. They were somewhat on the sour side, but they had a really great flavor to them. My next door neighbor drove by while I was sampling my 45th cherry or so, and wrinkled her nose when she tasted one, but she also said that they were very good. I then had a brilliant idea.

I need to have a cherry pie !

I went into the house, grabbed a one gallon freezer bag, and filled it about halfway with freshly picked cherries, and headed over to the house that we are remodeling. Upon arriving, I found LaCinda, (the mom of the household) and asked her if I had enough cherries for a pie. The not-so-subtle hint was recognized as such, and I was heartbroken when I learned that I had only picked about half the amount needed, but she could make a couple of cherry turnovers. Tempting, but when you’ve got the salivary glands worked up for pie, turnovers just ain’t gonna cut it… know what I mean? I was, however, excited in the knowledge that my little half gallon of freshly picked cherries hadn’t even made a minor dent in the number of the little red fruits available from that tree.

I picked another half gallon or so, added them to the original bag, struggled to close the zip lock top, and stored them in her refrigerator until yesterday when she and her two daughters began to pit the cherries. Man oh man… I have been literally chomping at the bit for this pie.

So today, at exactly 3:00pm, I reached into LaCinda’s oven with my well padded and protected hands, and retrieved this:

Isn’t that a thing of beauty?

And if you think that it looks delicious, you should taste it. Oh my goodness ! ! ! That had to be the best cherry pie I have ever had the good fortune to place into my mouth. I think having the cherry tree in my yard, picking the cherries with my own hands, and knowing the person who baked the pie all contributed to the wonderful result, but the real star has to be LaCinda herself for agreeing to bake it, and then putting her skills to work to create something as simple as a pie, but as wonderful as a fine art.

I have said this before, and I wish to express it again… because it fits this situation. Anyone can throw ingredients together to create a dish, but the real flavor, the real beauty, the real artistry comes from the love that is added. Love for the process, love for the adventure of cooking, and love for the people who will partake of your efforts. I am convinced that she truly loves the home that we have created for her and her family in which they will live. That love and gratitude is apparent in each and every bite of a cherry pie that she was kind enough to bake for yours truly.

Sheri and I each had a piece after dinner tonight, and this was a difficult decision to make, but I will take the remainder of this wonderful pie to the jobsite tomorrow and share my spoils with the guys, and with the chef extraordinaire and her girls.

I was going to make some ice cream to go with it, but this particular pie stands proud and tall and true on its own merits… it’s just that good.

Thanks LaCinda