Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady




I grew up in a one-block town. Literally! There was one block, and a few houses that extended off each street. As a youngster in the early ’60’s when planning a costume for Halloween you had to pick one of three goals: not be recognizable; be the most unusual; or the most outlandish.  There were many houses in town that the lady had to figure out who you were before you got your candy. Sometimes it could be a slow process. It was fun if you could stump them. No one wore just a mask! My favorite house gave out homemade caramel popcorn balls (Nice big ones.) Another house wanted us to come inside for cider and doughnuts. We went there last.

Back then the full size candy bars of today only cost five cents. We got a lot of them; they didn’t have to be checked before we ate them and parents didn’t go with their kids.  My father had an antique business in the ’70’s and ’80’s in that same little town. He gave out huge candy bars.  The Hershey bars that were 4 inches by 8 inches!  He called them his security system. He never locked the doors of the big house turned shop.  Occasionally he would hear of some shenanigans in town and chuckle that his house was never touched because the “Kids” would protect it from others.

My mother had a friend that lived out in the country, so she would come to our house to see the trick-or-treaters.  She purposely parked her car where the windows would get soaped saying it needed to be washed at least once a year.  Then it got waxed.  She parked it out back in our barn after that.

We would often have about 100 trick-or-treaters and it was a fun evening we planned and looked forward to for weeks. There was a Halloween parade in school, and carved pumpkins on most steps.  Now I live in suburbia and my street has no sidewalks or streetlights.  The most visitors we have ever had for Halloween is nine.  It’s a good thing I have good memories.

National Cherry Turnover Day

The only thing I can say for sure about cherry turnovers is there is never enough cherries and always too much crust.  I’d rather have a piece of cherry pie with the woven top crust, that way you can see up front, just how many cherries you are getting.  And then of course it’s always better with vanilla ice cream.

When I was a kid there was a great bakery in the town I went to school in.  I’ve mentioned in past posts that we did most of our own baking at home, but things like maple bars, apple fritters, fried cakes, salt rising bread and turnovers were left to the Fitzpatrick family.  I lived in a neighboring town and rode the bus to school so it was a real treat for me to be able to walk home with a classmate and stop at the bakery.  My favorite then, and now, is still the pudding filled, chocolate frosted doughnuts.

Let’s get back to cherries; these are some interesting facts: 

  • Related to plums, peaches and nectarines, cherries are drupes or stone fruits.
  • Cherries were brought to North America in the 1600s by the English colonists.
  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the United States.
  • There are an average of 44 cherries in one pound.

Do you know anyone with a cherry tree in their yard?  I’ve known a few people and the complaint is always the same; the birds get the cherries before the human can get out  to pick them.  So that leads me to question how an orchard keeps the birds away long enough to make it worth while to raise them.  I’m sure they have a trick or two, but I don’t know what they are.

In western Ney York state, especially along Lake Ontario, there are orchards that grow cherries, apples, peaches, pears and plums.  The state’s Finger Lakes region is well known for it’s grape vineyards and wineries. Strawberries and red and black raspberries are also plentiful.  To facilitate buying the fresh fruit easily there are public markets in a lot of the local cites, towns and suburbs.  It can be even be a fun family event if you are inclined to go pick your own.  When the fruit is in season, there are bargains and you eat your fill knowing fresh is best.  We wish the seasons lasted a little longer, but then the juicy unadulterated flavors wouldn’t be such a treat.

If you have a favorite cherry turnover memory I would love to hear about it.  And, just in case you are one of my regular readers, yes, I mixed up the chop suey date and cherry turnover date.  Sorry, not as precise as I used to be.  Today is really the 29th.






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