Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the pits

Yesterday I heard it: the squawk of the birds bickering over MY CHERRIES.  The cherry tree branches have been hanging heavy, but I thought I had until the weekend to do something about it.  But if I let the birds get to it first, they'd all be gone (ask me how I know).

So today was a big harvest day.

I paid a neighbor guy a few bucks to come by to help with the upper branches. We pulled enough to fill 6 paper grocery bags!!  He took a bag home and shared it with his mom, then I spent a chunk of my day looking like I was dealing (cherry flavored) drugs out of my car.  I met a friend who cans at Starbucks and gave her a bag. Another friend came to my house and scored on. I delivered some gallon bags full to two neighbors and to my parents. I gave a big paper sack full to the local firemen.

I pitted a ton of them and tried my hand at canning for the very first time.

Jars filled and on their way to be becoming Cherries in Wine (those are the cooked cherries waiting for the wine-y cooking liquid to be reduced and added to the jars prior to hitting a water bath).  Leave it to me to scald the holy shit out of my left hand while straining the sugary cherry wine liquid that had just come off the boil. 
My hand has been on ice ever since.

But the cherries are going to screamin' deeeeelicious poured over ice cream.

I have four more gallon bags in the fridge.  One or two will go to my buddy Kimberly who taught me how to water bath can last Sunday at her place, hence the inspiration.  The other bags that are left... I dont know yet! I think I might pit them tomorrow and pop them in the freezer until I figure it out! Or maybe I'll make some more drunken cherries, or maybe I'll try my (one, good?) hand at jam or a chutney.

And guess what?
We only harvested about 60% of the tree!!!
I might try to get to it. I might let it become the Bird Share!


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...why aren't we neighbors? It's not easy to grow sweet cherries around here, but I'm hoping to get some sour cherry trees in the ground next Spring. I love cherries in smoothies, so I would pit them and put them up in the freezer. We probably go through 15 gallons of frozen fruit during the winter, on top of whatever I can or jam. The cherries might be nice just canned up in a simple honey syrup, or you can also can pie filling. So many possibilities! Yum.

Linda said...

Bountiful tree, bountiful owner, tasty share, :)

Linda said...

Bountiful tree, generous owner, tasty entry! said...

You are canning cherries and I am watching the whirling dervishes. How's that for a switching roles?
Great story! And of course you hurst your hand. You had better be careful in the kitchen. You are turning into a hazard.
You could also make bransied cherries.very good over ice cream too!