06 July, 2010

Cherry Pie from Chez Jules

Where I come from cherry pies are a big deal. And pie crust is made from scratch. My dwarf Montmorency cherry tree is nearly 20 years old-slightly younger than my kids-and overshadowed by a nearby birch tree. The tool to remove the cherry stones reminds me of a stapler, reminds me of the sexual imagery associated with cherries and reminds me of the three million+ daughters who are victims of genital mutilation each year, violence against women by women, grandmothers, mothers and daughters; elder sister against younger sister. Visions-impaired, the pattern continues. The natural state of a woman's body becomes taboo. Sexual pleasure and gratification become entangled and confusing. Childbirth occurs with increasing discomfort and pain. All births are surgical procedures in the most primitive form. Female mortality rates increase as women bleed to death. The red juice, blood of the cherries, spatters my skin as I work my way through the over-ripe fruit. Then cornstarch and sugar sweeten and thicken the juice which cannot coagulate on it's own. Rolling out the butter dough for a flaky, melt in your mouth crust we move from middle to edge, turn, repeat, turn, repeat, turn, repeat, occasionally flipping it over and sprinkling with flour. It becomes a meditation; this becomes a prayer: tender pie crust, tender mercies, tend our children.

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