I’m a bit of a foodie, it’s not hard to tell – just ask my waistline! I love popping to the supermarket or even better the local market and seeing what produce the local growers and farmers have available. I’m lucky to live in rural Dorset and just minutes from my front door and you’ll be surrounded by fields full of corn, watercress, strawberries and more. Of course, one of my favourite seasons is when cherry picking begins as it takes me right back to my childhood…
Forgive me and allow me to be nostalgic for a moment if you will. Picture me, a little girl of 4 or 5, not that much older in fact than Alyssa is now. There is nothing I loved more than staying with my Nanny and Grandpa. I can remember sleeping at the foot of their bed and can even remember the colour of my blanket.
Upon waking, I’d crawl up the middle of the bed and my grandpa would roll over and pretend to carry on sleeping whilst my nanny would sit up and together we’d play I spy until it was time to get up. A day with them could go one of two ways, both of which I would love. Day one, I’d pull on my shoes and hat and head out into the garden with my grandpa. He was a keen gardener and got amazing results. He would lift me into the centre of a blackcurrant bush with a bowl and I’d come out with purple hands, a bowl full of blackcurrants and signs I’d sampled some too.
He had runner bean plants so much taller than both him and I, raspberry bushes, carrots, potatoes as well as trees laden with apples and pears. At the top of the garden, standing proudly stood our very own, beautiful cherry tree. He’d climb up to pick the delicious, sweet fruit and I’d hold the ladder to make sure he was okay – he of course could not have managed without me.
The next day or the next time I was at my grandparent’s house I’d end up in the kitchen with my Nanny and we’d have all the beautiful produce I’d picked with my grandpa and we’d turn it into pickles, jams, chutneys, pies, crumbles – there was no end to what we would make and it would all be delicious as my Nan was the most amazing cook. We’d have so many cherries though, we’d often sit with a bowlful each as we sat and watched The Sound of Music for the millionth time or The Darling Buds of May.
My wonderful grandpa passed away when I was just six and my amazing Nanny died six years ago when I was working in Italy. I miss them both terribly and it breaks my heart that they never got to meet Alyssa. She is so like my Nanny in so many ways – we even call her a baby Betty at times. However, she has inherited our love of cooking and fruit picking and our love of cherries.
Alyssa, Nonna and I will sit in the garden as the sun is going down, in the cool air that comes at the end of the day, and eat cherries with juice dripping down our chins as we lick our lips and enjoy the sweet fruit just as it is. I like to think, as we sit there happy and content, that my nanny and grandpa are the butterflies that dance past or the breeze that glides through our hair or the last ray of sun that hits our faces before it disappears for the night. To me Cherries aren’t just a fruit, they’re one of my most precious memories. #lovefreshcherries
This post is an entry for the BritMums #lovefreshcherries Challenge, sponsored by Love Fresh Cherries