Last weekend we had a poolside cookout with some friends, and the party included two little girls between the ages of 3 and 5. We brought a bowl of enormous black cherries and the girls couldn't eat enough - they were grabbing handfuls and spitting out the pits under their mother's watchful eye. At the end of the afternoon they had pink juice stains streaked past their elbows and down their chins - pink even after a good scrubbing in the pool.
And that's really all we want from our summer cherries - handfuls to eat, with a taste better than any manufactured bonbon. What do you do with summer cherries? Do you prefer the giant black sweet ones, or the bright sour or Rainier cherries? When we get tired of eating fresh cherries, or when they start getting too soft, we think about recipes like these Drunken Cherries at 101 Cookbooks (GREAT with ice cream), or the Cherry and Chocolate Cakes in this article.