Monday, June 29, 2015

Life is just a bowl of cherries

  This summer is all upside down for us because it's continuing to march on but we feel like we're missing it. We're busy and tired and in a state of confusion in this house. So when the opportunity to return to South Haven to have dinner with friends came up, we took it, and decided to pick cherries while we were there in orchard country.

 It was a picture perfect sunny day. Just the kind of day that makes fruit picking fun. 
We picked ten pounds at $2.00 per pound.  If we bought these in the store we would have paid $5. per quart. That $20. for ten pounds is a lot better than for four quarts.  That's one of the reasons we are pickers of our own fruit.  It's way less expensive, you know exactly what's in the container and it's just fun.
 But now, what to do with ten pounds of sweet cherries?  Last year I had the same problem and after some searching for recipes using sweet cherries I found  a recipe for a sweet cherry sauce.  I made it, it was delicious in the middle of January over pound cake and topped with whipped cream. So today I made more.
 Pitting cherries isn't the most fun I've ever had.  Definitely an outside job and if you can take your clothes off do that, too.  My friends know I would normally choose that route but the mosquitoes are out so I left them on.  Good thing, because in the middle of it all the UPS man came with a delivery. I used a cherry pitter but the juice spit was all over the place regardless of how careful I was.  And careful means slow and I had 3 pounds in front of me.  So.
 Here's what I got for my time.  Come January I'll be happy I did this today.  It's supposed to be eaten right away but you can freeze anything so these went into the deep freeze.

Sweet Cherry Sauce:  recipe found online from Everyday

3 pounds fresh sweet cherries or 2 pounds frozen cherries and one pound fresh
1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup cherry juice
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2teaspoon vanilla ( I like almond extract better for this)

Remove pits and stems from cherries and place 2 pounds in a small saucepan (you can use the frozen cherries for this step). Add water and sprinkle with sugar. Bring the cherries to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place a fine sieve over a mixing bowl. Scoop the cherries into the sieve and press the cherries with a spoon to release the juice and pulp into the bowl. Scrape the skins out of the sieve.

Return the juice to the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the lemon juice. Combine the bottled cherry juice with the cornstarch and stir till there are no lumps. Slowly pour this into the saucepan and  gently simmer till the juice reaches the desired thickness.

Just before removing the sauce from the heat, add the remaining one pound of pitted cherries and fold into the sauce. Allow the sauce to return to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. The cherries should retain their firm texture.

Let the sauce cool and pour into jars. Keeps in refrigerator for one week or freeze till January when you need a reminder of summer.

Look who came visiting yesterday!  Does anyone have an idea what kind of turtle this is?  I told PH he could stick his hand down there to see if it was a snapping turtle but he didn't think that was an idea.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I laughed out loud at this story, there I was peacefully picking cherries with you and your that photo...he looks so impressed!! Getting ready to prepare said cherries and then I fell off my chair and I would be BBF's if we were at school together!
    Mosquitoes saved a young mans blushes, me thinks. I used to disrobe my children in the warmer weather at dinner times so I didn't have to wash out mushed up dinners from their clothes. Then I would call in the dog to eat the spillage off the floor to make mopping easy, yep if there's a way to save on housework I will do it. Thanks so much for the merriment friend Denice!