If you look at a map of Wisconsin, Door County is the tip of the thumb of the mitten-shaped state—the part that gets frostbit on nippy winter days. This location, with its cooler spring months, makes Door County the perfect place for growing yummy, tart Montmorency cherries. At their peak in the 1950s, 700 cherry growers produced up to 50 million pounds of cherries annually.
So, when Cynthia Ruchti, Eileen Caudel Key, Rachael Phillips, and I met to research and brainstorm for a collection of Christmas novellas set in this wondrous place of adorable tourist towns, 300 miles of wave-lapped shoreline, and breathtaking sunsets, we had to give the humble cherry a place of honor in our stories.
Just for fun, I did a search in our collection for “cherry” and came up with this yummy list: cherry salsa, cherry fudge caramel, cherry jam, cherry pecan ice cream, home-canned sweet cherry juice, dried cherries, frosted cherry turnovers, French toast with Door County cherry topping, cherry tarts, cherry fudge, cherry bread pudding, cherry cider, cherry drizzle puff pancakes, Heart’s Harbor Cheery Cherry Christmas Tea, cherry nut bread, and last but absolutely not least, and my favorite reason to visit, the Door County Sundae served up at a whimsically fun place called Not Licked Yet. As one of Rachael’s characters so perfectly describes it: “Rich, creamy custard drenched with gooey hot fudge and warm, luscious cherries, lost in clouds of whipped cream . . .”
To quote Ricky, my dark-eyed Brazilian hero in Christmas Crazy: “I love it here. It’s like no place I’ve ever been. . .fish boils, orchards, bike trails, cherries, fudge. . .cherry fudge.”
In case you never get the chance to taste Door County in person, we’re delighted to give you a sampling of its tantalizing treats in A Door County Christmas.
Wisconsin resident Becky Melby is the author of the Lost Sanctuary Series and more than a dozen other contemporary fiction titles. She is currently working on a Guideposts continuity series called Secrets of Wayfarers Inn. Book One releases in May of 2018. Married for 45 years, mother of four, grandmother to fifteen, Becky thrives on writing, reading, camping, rides on the back of a silver Gold Wing, and time with family. Connect with her at www.beckymelby.com or Facebook