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One Local Summer, Rainier cherry edition

July 7th, 2008 · 10 Comments

I had been on the hunt for Rainier cherries ever since Ramona reported buying them the weekend I was out of town. I hadn’t realized they were grown on this coast. I finally spotted some at the West End market last Sunday and snatched them up — only to discover another farmer had them cheaper. Oh well, they were worth it. I love the slight tartness and sweet aroma. Which, incidentally, pairs wonderfully with gin.

Other local highlights this week included corn and peaches appearing at our Alexandria markets (Del Ray and West End), flavorful yellow cherry tomatoes, and sweet onions in our CSA bag.

We had cherries twice Sunday, first, brunch of challah French toast with yogurt, honey and Rainier cherries:

And for dinner, grilled pork chops with Rainier cherry glaze and grilled corn-on-the-cob:

Recipe: Sweet Cherry Glaze


  • 2 c. slightly tart cherries, Rainier or Queen Anne’s are ideal, halved and pitted
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t corn starch
  • 1 t water

Instructions: In small saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Dissolve corn starch in water. Gently smash cherries with back of spoon to release juices, stir in corn starch mixture and cook 1 minute more. Serve warm over pork chops, chicken or fish.

In tribute to the beginning of peach season, I bought Dogfish Head‘s Festina Peche (DE, 117 mi.), a great summery brew released every year on June 1.

Another local treat was the rich and creamy, organic Moorenko‘s Creme Fraiche ice cream, made in McLean, VA (15 mi.), and sold at local Whole Foods.

Other dishes using local produce this week included smashed cherry tomato fusili, and CSA salad with leftover pork, peaches, basil, sweet onions, garlic scape, basil, almonds, quinoa and lettuce.


  • Basil, scapes, lettuce, sweet onions – Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA, VA, 23mi.
  • Rainier cherries – Westmoreland Berry Farm, VA, 71mi.
  • Yogurt, Pequea Valley Farms, PA, 132mi.
  • Honey, Toigo Orchards, PA, 114mi.
  • Onions, cherry tomatoes – J&W Valley View Farm, VA, 84mi
  • Pork chops – Fauquier County, VA, 67mi. (via Let’s Meat on the Avenue)

Don’t forget: share your favorite food memory and help flooded family farms!

Tags: at market · one local summer · recipes

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jill // Jul 7, 2008 at 8:01 am

    I LOVE Rainier cherries. I never liked cherries, but once when I was visiting my parents they had them and I tried them. So good! I haven’t seen any here yet. I remember buying the organic ones at MOM’s once for about $6/pack. But they were so good they were worth the price.

  • 2 Tiffany // Jul 7, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Oh man, that pork looks SO good. I can’t wait to try that soon. I just got back from vacation in Michigan where I was looking forward to eating Michigan cherries, but was unable to find any anywhere!
    Thanks for the ice cream recommendation too.

  • 3 Ramona // Jul 7, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Yum, great glaze for pork. I adore sweet and savory glazes/sauces for meat. I’ve used all sorts of berries to combine with port and stock to make reductions for pork tenderloin.
    I’ve been buying pork tenderloin from Costco. Two tenderoins to a package makes for great leftovers. They are unbelievably juicy.
    I didn’t make it to any markets this weekend-I’m feeling withdrawl!

  • 4 sarah // Jul 7, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    love the double usage of the cherries!

  • 5 April // Jul 8, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    How ’bout that gin recipe?

  • 6 My Sweet & Saucy // Jul 8, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    I LOVE Rainier cherries!!! What a great way to use them!

  • 7 Kate // Jul 8, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    This recipe looks amazing. I’m going to try it this weekend!

    You might be interested in my website. There are some incredible recipes.

    Thanks for the idea!


  • 8 foodietots
    Twitter: foodietots
    // Jul 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    @ Jill – I never loved red cherries either. I got some Queen Anne’s this past weekend that are similar to Rainiers.

    @ Tiffany – What a bummer you missed the Michigan cherries! I’m sure there are still some here at this week’s markets.

    @ Ramona – I nearly missed the markets this weekend. Woke up late and sick Sunday, but dragged myself out to Dupont anyway! I had my heart set on Keswick’s ricotta, buffalo hot dogs and soft shells. Was so glad they were all still there after noon.

    @ Sarah, My Sweet & Saucy & Kate – Thanks for visiting!

    @ April – not much of a recipe, but sure. Smash a couple (think I used 4 or 5) halved, pitted cherries in the bottom of a glass. Add a shot of gin and let sit for 20 minutes. Then add ice and top with ginger ale. You could also use club soda or tonic for a more tart drink, but I liked the ginger cherry combination.

  • 9 andry // May 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Gpm2Fw comment2 ,

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