The other night I made a run to the grocery store (which, here in Hutchinson, Kansas means Dillons - in this case, 5th Avenue location) to pick up a few things - bread, milk, eggs, fruit, cold medicine. As I was rounding the corner up by the eggs and butter, I happened to glance over at the organic foods section.
That's when I saw it. THE juice. I'm talking about R.W. Knudsen Family Organic "Just Tart Cherry Juice." I've been a fan of this juice for about a year and a half. It used to be available only at the 30th Avenue Dillons, then all of a sudden about 6 months ago they stopped carrying it. No more Just Tart Cherry juice. There were other cherry juices, even cherry cider, but they no longer had THE juice.
Why all the excitement about a 32 ounce, $6 bottle of juice? The flavor of this stuff is great on its own, but it is also incredibly versatile. It has this great balance of sweet, tart and bitter that is almost reminiscent of a ruby port or a fruity-sweet balsamic vinegar.
I like to mix it with seltzer for a low-cal, nutritious soda or with vodka for a tasty cocktail. Stir about a quarter cup up with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of spicy brown mustard, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and you have a great vinaigrette for salads or marinade for chicken or salmon. I use it when I make devils food cake - I replace the water that the recipe calls for with the Just Tart Cherry juice.
I can hear the cries now "But $6, isn't that an awful lot for juice?" Yes, it is an awful lot to pay for juice. But how many of you have paid double that for half the amount of balsamic vinegar? I'm telling you, this stuff is rich, and if you're creative, you can find ways to use this stuff to elevate your cooking to a new level. Before it went off the shelves at the 30th street Dillons, I always kept a bottle in the fridge. Now that I know I can find it at the 5th street Dillons, it will be part of my regular stock once again! Thanks 5th street Dillons for making my day!