Our house in Senese was surrounded by edible plants: olive trees, basil and rosemary plants, grape vines, and three enormous, heavily laden cherry trees. Not many people know that cherries are a big deal in my extended family. My Aunt Judy loves them so much that my mom has to hide cherries when she buys them from the farmer's market for fear that Aunt Judy will come over and eat the whole bag in one sitting. Because she's done it in the past. We all love them.
When I arrived in Tuscany, jet lagged and miserable from nearly 24 hours of travel, the final three being Corey's "fun" race car driving on the Autostrade, I wanted nothing more than a shower and sleep. But then I saw the cherry trees and perked right up. I climbed the tree out back by the washline and started eating. My fingers were stained red with the juice of the squishiest, most tartly perfect cherries I ever encountered.
Every day, they were more ripe. By the end of the trip, I had eaten every cherry within my reach and had to daily solicit help from my lanky husband. He stretched himself tall to bend down the branches so I could get the nearly black ones the birds missed. They exploded as I bit them, and I spit the seeds into the field. One time, when Corey was bike riding and I needed a cherry fix, I used a dog leash to lasso a high branch and shook the last of the cherries into my shirt pouch.
Despite nearly an entire tree of this sinful fruit, I was still basically unable to poop the whole week.