Sunday, April 22, 2012

Apple blossoms

I'm not sure if I've ever actually eaten one of the apples grown on this tree, but the blossoms are so delicate and beautiful and draw me in every spring.

Apples are, hands-down, one of my favorite fruits. I love how versatile they are, whether you want to eat one all by itself, in a salad, in oatmeal, as dessert, with peanut butter, or cooked low and slow into homemade apple butter.

I also love that you can find decent apples in the grocery store during many months of year. Unlike strawberries or tomatoes, which are more delicate and have zero flavor outside their natural growing season, it seems like apples are a little heartier and are still worth eating.

Though nothing is better than fresh apples, grown locally, and picked just hours or days before.

We have another five months to wait in central Indiana before that time comes back around, though, so I'm content to enjoy the blossoms on the tree for now.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cherry blossoms

When it comes to cherries, my favorite way to eat them is fresh, straight off the tree. The best place to eat cherries is standing next to the tree, so you can eat the fruit within seconds of picking it.

You can't get food much fresher than that!

This small white blossom is only about 1.5" in diameter. It bloomed on my parents' cherry tree, a tree that produces small, tart cherries. When I was growing up, we had a huge cherry tree that was sadly toppled by a strong thunderstorm. This tree is its replacement, and it's doing well, though it's definitely an exercise in patience while we all wait for it to grow. It currently produces enough cherries for only about one cherry crisp each year.

Tart cherries are harder to find in stores than sweet or Bing cherries, because they aren't cultivated as often and tend to be more delicate and not do as well in transit. As a result, many people have probably never had tart cherries—but there's really nothing like them.

In the Midwest, Michigan is known for producing tart cherries. Traverse City, where Mom and I vacationed last summer, has an annual Cherry Festival that attracts thousands of visitors. The cherries were just starting to ripen when we were there (and we specifically skipped town before the festival craziness), so we were a week or two too early to try fresh, local Michigan cherries.

We weren't too early—or too late—for the good wine, though! I'll just have to make a trip back to catch cherry season again in the future.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Drawn to fuchsia

This rich, deep shade of pink—which I'm constantly drawn to—always makes me think of my Junior Prom.

My dress was this shade of pink. I remember loving that it was different than the prom dresses I usually saw on my classmates. Mine was a two-piece dress with a slim, straight cut, while big, frilly princess-style ball gowns seemed to be more common. I felt beautiful in it.

Since then, I've gravitated toward this color, and you'll find more than a few items of clothing in my closet that feature it.

So when this azalea at my parents' house blooms each spring, I'm out there with my camera.