Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Cherry Eton Mess
MY AUNT AND UNCLE HAD A VAST CHERRY TREE which grew right beside their house. As a girl, I could climb from their second story porch right into that great tree.
Every summer, our family would pile into the car for our annual trek from our home in Alabama to visit my Dad's hometown in Akron, Ohio. There we would split up and move from relative to relative, spending time with each.
My cherry tree uncle was a trucker so he was away from home a lot. But I loved spending time with my aunt and their five (5!) rowdy sons. Their home was loud, messy, and chaotic. The only thing she ever said to me while I was eating cherry after cherry after cherry while sitting in the tree, was a warning that if I kept it up, I would have a tummy ache. I paid her no regard, thinking the joy of eating a seemingly endless supply of cherries, fresh, juicy, and warm, straight from the tree would be worth it.
I never had a problem digesting all those cherries. And when I think about it now, I know my own mother would have been worried about much more than stomach troubles if she had ever seen me perched high in the branches of that mighty tree.
Eton Mess is an English dessert made with baked meringue cookies, strawberries, and cream. I made mine with fresh cherries.
I had some meringues, which store beautifully in an airtight container, leftover from making my Tapioca Pudding. You can see a recipe here.
I love homemade whipped cream. It is super, super simple to make. It was one of the tasks my mother handed over to me when I was just a little girl. I would make it using an old-style, hand, rotary mixer. You know if a little girl can make it, you can too. Here is a recipe.
Cherry Eton Mess
Fresh cherries, washed, pitted, and halved
Freshly whipped and sweetened cream
Layer, as desired, crushing some of the meringues if you wish, in a pretty glass. Garnish with a whole cherry.