Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Truth...With A Cherry On Top

(Photo, "I is for Ice cream with a cherry on top" by blondie478, from http://www.flickr.com/)

Whew! February is such a popular month that I would think that the other months might be a little jealous!! Not only is it National Chocolate Month, National Cherry Month, American Heart Month and the month for celebrating lovers and Presidents, I thought it was fitting today to tell you a little bit about cherries and the President who taught us that “honesty is always the best policy”.

First, some sweet information on cherries….According to ChooseCherries.com (Choosecherries.com is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI), an organization funded by North American tart cherry growers and processors):

Cherries – available year-round as dried, frozen and juice – are "America’s Super Fruit," a homegrown and colorful way to reap the health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Health and nutrition experts say to look no further than fruits grown on American soil for health and wellness benefits. Cherries are a great local alternative to exotic berries grown in faraway rainforests. It’s no coincidence that February is both American Heart Month and National Cherry Month, since science suggests cherries may offer powerful heart-health benefits.

Whether I am eating cherries for my heart or simply enjoying them and seeing how far I can spit the pits, I do love cherries – especially when topping an ice cream sundae but what about the presidential “deviant” who vandalized his father’s prized cherry tree?

According to legend and to the website http://www.apples4theteacher.com/ and author, M.L. Weems:

When George (Washington) was about six years old, he was made the wealthy master of a hatchet of which, like most little boys, he was extremely fond. He went about chopping everything that came his way.

One day, as he wandered about the garden amusing himself by hacking his mother's pea sticks, he found a beautiful, young English cherry tree, of which his father was most proud. He tried the edge of his hatchet on the trunk of the tree and barked it so that it died.

Some time after this, his father discovered what had happened to his favorite tree. He came into the house in great anger, and demanded to know who the mischievous person was who had cut away the bark. Nobody could tell him anything about it.

Just then George, with his little hatchet, came into the room.

"George,'' said his father, "do you know who has killed my beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden? I would not have taken five guineas for it!''

This was a hard question to answer, and for a moment George was staggered by it, but quickly recovering himself he cried: “I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.''

The anger died out of his father's face, and taking the boy tenderly in his arms, he said:
"My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me than a thousand trees! Yes - though they were blossomed with silver and had leaves of the purest gold!''

So today, I will not tell a lie as I write that tonight I will be enjoying some warm, cherry cobbler topped with Blue Bunny® All Natural Vanilla ice cream. You should, too….just do me a favor and buy your cherries at the store - no hatchet necessary!

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