Andie brought a traditional Limousin clafoutis. It is a dish that I usually make with black or red currants because they are plentiful in the garden. I don't have a cherry tree. We grew 'white heart' cherries in the orchard of my childhood home. As soon as they were really sweet and ripe all the birds in the neighbourhood would descend. They were capable of stripping the tree of all it's fruit.
A big clafoutis is a good party dish - and it travels well in the car, something that I've learnt to consider the hard way! Andie's contribution was a labour of love because she prepared the fruit by hand as she doesn't have a cherry stoner. We all appreciated her effort!
1lb stoned cherries
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp sugar
castor sugar for dusting.
Butter a shallow ovenproof dish and scatter cherries over the base.
Put flour and sugar in a bowl and add eggs and milk to make a smooth batter. Pour over fruit and bake for 30 to 40 minutes in a hot oven until risen and golden brown.
Later in the week we had a lunch party and Pam brought this delicious cherry tart.
Passports are not the fascinating objects that they once were, when every movement in and out of the country was stamped and recorded. The one that I have just relinquished had some very impressive attention from the Russian authorities, but trips to Canada and Egypt resulted in only meagre rubber stamps and holidays in Europe were not recorded at all. My first passport as a child was far more colourful.
I was called in from the garden where I had been eating cherries. My mother washed my face and tied my hair in two tight plaits with ribbons and clasps. I wore my best party frock, with smocking across the front. We were going into town to have my passport photograph taken.
The photographer had a difficult time getting me to smile properly, just a nice little smile, quite straight, not lopsided. He gave up in the end and just took the photo anyway.
When we got home I took the cherry stone that I had been storing all afternoon in the side of my mouth and put it in the kitchen bin. Mum rolled her eyes in despair but Dad just laughed.
When I look at it now I think that it's the best passport photo of me that has ever been taken!