This past week has been spent visiting with my dad in Vancouver BC, which is awesome. I love the food culture that Vancouver has going on, and it feels like this city is so much closer to nature than even my home in the country side of Ontario. It might be because you only need to drive for half an hour to find some really amazing hikes and breathtaking scenery.
Anyways, my first day here I went to visit a local market, and while I was there I picked up a quart of ground cherries. Ground cherries, for those of you who aren't familiar, are a small yellow berry which is part of the nightshade family (right along with tomatoes). Its flavour is a little like a tomato, but with a little more tang and musk, and the fruits also develop inside of a papery exterior which looks like a lantern. It's a berry that I've been mildly obsessed with since I started gardening, and as a result I have never managed to cultivate it, even though every source I've read has said that it will grow like a weed.
So I bought a quart of ground cherries (which is a lot of fruit), and on my way home I discovered that these ones had a lot more of that musky flavour than I was used to, enough that they were not even remotely palatable fresh. Obviously I couldn't bring them back, and it felt really shitty to just throw out that much food and money, so I decided that I'd have to find a way to make the little suckers appealing enough to get through the whole quart.
If I'd been at home then I could've just freeze dried them or turned them into a sauce, but being a tourist in Vancouver, that wasn't an option. Instead, I mulled over the problem, and after some extensive experimenting, and some rather spectacular failures, I found my solution. Oatmeal. Such a wonderful dish that can blend any number of flavours and at the same time cooperate with my limited quantity of ingredients and cookware.
Ground Cherry Oatmeal:
1 packet of plain instant oatmeal,
a handful of granola,
a scoop of raisins,
a pile of quartered ground cherries,
a hearty drizzle of maple syrup,
a mouthwatering pat of salted butter,
and some freshly boiled water.
Mix it all together.
Savour that magical balance of sweet syrup, salty butter, and tart (but no longer musky) ground cherries. Enjoy.