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Gimme fresh

Have I had my fill of cherries yet, ya think? For weeks I've been happily filling my (reusable) grocery bag with cherries, first the Bing and lately Ranier. A friend enjoys putting them in smoothies, but I don't want to dilute mine. I love 'em straight up, raw, unadorned. A big bowl of washed cherries, with a paper towel for the pits, have been my TV-watching snack of choice.

It's shifting into peach and nectarine season now, so more paper towels will be necessary.

And cucumbers! Lordy, do I love real cucumbers. That would be the unwaxed ones, the pickling ones. Sliced and raw, or thinly sliced and soaked in an overnight marinade of cider vinegar, sugar and a dash of red pepper flakes, their flavor is concentrated summer. If you don't grow your own, your best chance of finding these are through friends with a bumper crop or at your local farmers market.

Summer eating is fresh eating. Who wants to do serious cooking? It heats up the kitchen and takes up time that could be spent enjoying summer evenings. Cut up some fresh veggies and fruits, and make a feast.