In a "dot.com, I-phone, artificially-flavored" world, most of us crave old-fashioned rituals that slow us down and remind us that no matter how things change, they stay the same. Which is why the prospect of pitting a bowl of fresh cherries on the porch is so appealing. Like growing a tomato or baking a cake from scratch, it allows us to "discover a vague but comforting link to the universe," as one friend states.
That said, here is a recipe for Cherries Jubilee, a recipe that probably isn't much different than one your grandmother would have made, or her grandmother for that matter. In fact, food historians credit French chef Auguste Escoffier for creating Cherries Jubilee to mark one of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations in 1887 or 1897. It requires fresh pitted cherries, which you can probably find already pitted somewhere. But go ahead, sit back, relax and pit your own, because cherry pitters have made great strides—thank heavens. (Tip: Try the new one from OXO.)
—By Jill Melton, Relish Editor