Ripe I cry

I haven’t spelt the title wrong. This isn’t a rant about rape, even though it’s a subject very much in the news as I write. (And even though I’m often inclined to rant about rape. With reason.)

No, the title’s a line from an old song called ‘Cherry ripe’.

The words go:

‘Cherry ripe, cherry ripe

Ripe I cry

Full and fair ones come and buy’

I never felt that ‘Full and fair ones’ were quite the words to describe ripe cherries.  Alice in Wonderland changed it to ‘Fools and fair ones come and buy’.  I prefer that.

Whatever. The point is, ‘Cherry ripe’ has been in my head for days. Which is why I’ve resorted to writing this post. To winkle it out.

It started when I was thinking about how cold I was.

We’ve had hysterical degrees of warmth here lately.

[What’s that? Do I mean historical? No, I like hysterical, thank you. Call me Alice.]

On the rare occasions when it’s really warm here the air conditioning in our supermarkets is neither Arctic nor Antarctic in its bite. Unlike the aircon everywhere in Texas. But around the fruit and veg it’s different.

Buying avocadoes, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, melons, peaches – anything with a tendency to need warmth to ripen – is a chilling experience.


A week later and still not fit to eat. I should have known, it’s not from Edwin’s

The other day, I considered buying a pair of ‘ready to eat’ avocadoes. I picked them up. They were freezing cold and rock hard, yet the instructions read ‘best kept in the fridge’. I felt like throwing them at a wall to see which made a dent in which, the avos or the wall.

But I didn’t.

Icy cold, underripe fruit does not taste good. Yet in the depths of winter I see mums buying strawberries that I could tell them will not taste good. Will not be ripe. Will never ripen.

And then I think, how many youngsters have ever – ever – tasted a really ripe strawberry? Had that mmmmmph, ah, ooh, tastebud-enrapturing sensation it’s so hard to describe?

Or been amazed at a richly perfumed, ripe, jewel of a blackberry.

Or bitten into a peach so meltingly ripe that the juice runs freely and the flesh comes away from the stone when you look at it.

That last bit is an exaggeration.

'Dusky maiden' enjoying the early warmth and sunshine

‘Dusky maiden’ enjoying the early warmth and sunshine

I eat strawberries once the sun starts shining and the temperature starts rising somewhere reasonably nearby (ie, in Europe).

Around the time when our roses begin to bloom.

I eat peaches and raspberries in similar circumstances. Plums, greengages a little later.

But above all, I buy fruit such as strawberries, for eating as they are, from the greengrocer, not the supermarket.

[Which is not to say I never buy strawberries them from the supermarket. I do. If I’m (a) making frozen yogurt (of which more anon), or (b) feeling sorry for the Spanish farmers.]

Booths. Say no more.

Booths. Say no more.

Not all supermarkets are the same of course, Booths of Lancashire. The best.

Not all supermarkets are the same of course, Booths of Lancashire. The best.










Our greengrocer, an older man with a dodgy hip, is a character. It’s likely you’ll leave the shop laughing, after witnessing a performance that’s made an elderly lady reach the chuckling, ‘oh, go on with you, Eddy’ stage. And after you’ve patiently watched him help her out with her bag and her stick.

His shop is small and warm. His peaches, nectarines, strawberries, tomatoes, avocadoes are warm. They ripen. Some go off, yes, but that’s what fruit does. And you don’t have to buy it.

Yesterday he had a choice of three types of strawberry. One lot came from Scotland – they’re usually pretty good. One lot came from another county in England. One lot came from just down the road. You can guess which I bought.

Small, but ripe, they were delicious.

I also bought six Italian nectarines, because he was right out of peaches. I was planning a surprise for the resident dual citizen who’s recently back from Texas.

One of the stories I’ve been told on many occasions is how Tex would help his granddaddy churn ice cream, peach ice cream, in a hand churner that used salt and ice to freeze the mixture.

I never thought it sounded good. A shrug of the shoulders kind of flavour for an ice cream.

I mean, I’ll eat almost any flavour of ice cream but some you think were just  a waste of what could have been a really good vanilla.

My favourite book so far (OK my only book so far!)

My favourite book so far (OK my only book so far!)

Now, though, I have an ice cream maker. I will experiment.

I’ve made pink grapefruit sorbet. Too delicious to risk making it often – and anyway, where are pink grapefruit when you need them?

Sweet potato ice cream.  Just wrong. (We still ate it.)

Strawberry ice cream. Oooh yes!

Strawberry frozen yogurt. Oooh yes BUT lower in fat, so now a firm favourite.

Vanilla frozen yogurt. Love, love, love it.

And now, peach substitute, nectarine.

It’s gorgeous. Absolutely delicious.

Ripe. I try


WP_20160611_10_58_07_Pro[Recipe below]


Nectarine (or peach) frozen yogurt


Six ripe medium nectarines, skinned, de-stoned and cut into chunks

125 ml water

150 g sugar

240 g plain, unsweetened, full fat yogurt

Lemon – a little squeeze of the fresh thing


Put the nectarines in a pan with the water and sugar. Bring to a gentle boil then turn down to low simmer for ten minutes.

Cool, then liquidise with the yogurt. Doesn’t have to be totally lump free, texture is also good. Add a few drops of lemon juice. Put in refrigerator for couple of hours then churn or freeze in a plastic box, forking it every now and then as it freezes around the edges to break down the crystals and keep it as smooth as you can.

Then – enjoy.

Simple food






This entry was posted in Simple Food for Simple Folk (like me), Thinking, or ranting, or both and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Ripe I cry

  1. Christa says:

    Will definitely try the ice cream – a good reason to take my ice-cream maker out of its box. And I agree with everything you say about supermarket fruit and avocadoes – Ripe and Ready indeed!!


    • I was really surprised by this ice – so tasty! But I can also send you the strawberry frozen yogurt recipe if you like – no cooking involved but slicing and sitting in sugar for an hour at room temp and sooooo yummy! Yes, this ripe and ready to eat stuff is nonsense! They’re just a little less underripe! But Greece must have spoilt you for ripe everything, just the thought of those tomatoes.


  2. Rebekah M says:

    My ice cream days are over, due to sensitive teeth.

    You’re so right about the chilling temperatures in these departments. One thing, in particular, for me, that has to be room temperature is the tomato. What a huge difference that makes in taste. It’s hard to find tomatoes that taste anything at all here anyway.

    That photo of the avocado is intriguing. It looks like it’s hovering above the plate, in a three-dimensional sort of way. Or as if it was caught in mid air.


    • I know – that picture is so strange. I just had to use it – it was taken from above with my phone camera. I agree about tomatoes – I buy them as ripe as I can find then leave them sitting till they are soft and tasty. I sometimes stick them in the oven when cooking something else or grill/fry them – love them griled or fried on toast.
      My teeth are somewhat sensitive too, but I sometimes use sensitive teeth toothpaste and it seems to work – and I would tolerate a fair amount of discomfort rather than ban ice cream from my life forever!
      Thanks for sparing time for reading and commenting on top of all that daily blogging!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Audrey says:

    Mmmmm English summer. Grren gages and gooseberried. Nostalgia.


    • Funnily I did mention gooseberries (goosegogs) but then couldn’t remember when they come out so left them out! I love ripe greengages too. Cold, underripe fruit just isn’t worth eating unless you cook it. Nice to hear from you, hope you;re well 🙂


  4. charliebritten says:

    I certainly enjoy ripe fruit, especially apples. Anything even slightly unripe gives me IBS. Also, I keep all fruit in bowls on the worktop. Putting them in the fridge destroys flavour.


    • I really do wonder how many children today really know what ripe fruit tastes like, I mean really ripe, juicy, oozing with flavour. It seems that every year the chills get chillier in the supermarkets as more and more unripe exotic fruit pours in. I love apples. Apples and cheese and crusty bread – when I was younger they were going to be my Desert Island luxury – then I discovered you can’t have practical things!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In full agreement, I wait for the summer months for fruit which should only be eaten in summer. I look forward to nectarines and peaches from June onwards, kept in a dish so they are ripe and warm and juicy when eaten. They are also delicious cut in half, sprinkled with a little demerara sugar or honey, a dash or two of amaretto liqueur and a star anise and cooked for around 15 -20 minutes at 200C /Gas 6. A true taste of summer and Italian holidays.
    A lovely refreshing summer sorbet is lavender and blueberry using fresh lavender flowers from the garden simmered in water and sugar then strain and add a few blue berries to the hot liquid to give a good purple colour. Cool and freeze as for any sorbet. This goes well with the cooked nectarines or peaches.


    • I thought of you recently when I made pesto for the first time (we had a huge basil plant we got cheap at Booths). It was delicious. I like grilled peaches and your recipe sound tasty EXCEPT for the amaretto which I can’t stand. I have a problem with anything that tastes like almond essence – such as marzipan. Oddly, I made blueberry frozen yogurt recently and it tasted green and unpleasant to me whereas L absolutely loved it. He reckons I have a food taster in my ancestry and thus a heightened awareness of potential poisons!! It really was odd with the blueberries in that I could almost, just about, detect the taste he found predominant but only fleetingly and not enought to make eating it a pleasurable experience. I am with you on the lavender flavouring though and may try that one anyway, perhaps with a drop of cassis or two for the colour? When I make summer pudding I make a ‘cream’ that’s actually cream and creme fraiche mixed and heated, with a little sugar, a litle vanilla and a bunch of lavender . It sounds weird but it goes a beautiful yellowy colour and tastes divine. We need to talk food at Jelly!


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  7. Judy Barnes says:

    Dear Alice,
    Thank you for your succulent blog suggestions… Will definitely give the nectarine frozen yoghurt a whirl and will definitely give the sweet potato ice cream a miss. XX


    • Hi Judy, thanks for reading and glad you like the recipe. This week I’ve made some lemon sherbet which is basically, lemon juice, lemon zest, water sugar and quite a lot of … milk. Dee-vine! Hope all’s well with you, that your creativity is being allowed room to bloom – and the table is being much admired. I have kept your card on my bookshelf as a reminder 🙂


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