If there is one recipe that screams summer, it is Grandma Bauhard's chocolate covered cherry recipe. I was in 3rd grade the first time Grandma and I made it together. I come from a family that just doesn't travel, but every summer I made the circuit from Grandma's to an assortment of aunts and uncles' houses, vacationing a week at a time, giving my parents a much needed break from me. Sometimes I stayed by myself, other times my cousin Erin or my sister Holly joined me. Every foodie looks back at formative experiences cooking on "grandma's knee" and correlates them to their love of all things culinary, so much so, that it's become rather trite.
STILL, I have fond memories of making this with Grandma in early June. Staying at the Bauhard farmhouse was always an adventure. It was a sagging, rather decrepit house, bursting at the seams with the memorabilia and detritus that 50+ years of marriage and the rearing of 9 kids brings. My Grandpa "B" was even born in that house. The whole house was a mysterious, cluttered archive of my mom's side of the family. The house smelled of dust, mothballs, old wood, and the earthy smell of old fashioned plater-coated walls in the cool morning air. There was a giant maple tree just outside the back door, off the kitchen. Grandma and I would begin cooking in the morning, while it was still cool. The maple leaves of the maple tree to the east, created dappled sunshine as the sun rose. Grandpa believed in buying summer fruit, apricots, peaches, and cherries in flats and lugs so Grandma could preserve them.
I still remember the sweet, stickiness of chocolate and cherry juice, and spitting out pits. With a surplus of bing cherries, Grandma chose the perfect recipe for me to make. Something that didn't require heating the house up with the oven, and that was simple enough for a child. Delicious, slightly messy, and utterly stress-free. This truly is a summer dessert.
Grandma B's Chocolate Covered Cherries
2 dozen, fresh Bing cherries washed and dried with stems attached
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons butter-flavored Crisco
Melt chocolate chips and Crisco together on stove in a double boiler. Remove from heat. Dip cherries by their stems and let set on wax paper. Refrigerate until firm.