Friday, July 22, 2011

Life is just a bowl (or, more precisely, an 11-quart stockpot) of cherries

When we lived in Colorado, some neighbors of ours (who were also good friends) had a sour-cherry tree in their backyard that Tom coveted.  One year, we happened to be catsitting for them while they were out of town, and the cherries were just about to be fully ripe.  "Pick as many as you want," they said, "because by the time we get home, it'll be too late."

Tom has fond memories of canning cherries from his childhood.  I regularly hear the story about his grandfather swinging through the kitchen at the height of the process, grabbing a few out of the bowl, and saying, "I'll can some of those right now," as he popped them in his mouth.

So, the summer of the free (and plentiful) sour cherries remains a very fond memory for Tom.  But we haven't been able to find anyplace to get them since we moved to West Virginia.

This year, my sister discovered that her CSA could hook her up with sour cherries, but you had to buy them in quantity--half a bushel, minimum.

So, since we were all coming to Columbus for my nephew's wedding this weekend, Pam picked up the fruit and brought it down, we brought our cherry pitter from Morgantown, and Tom spent five hours pitting them yesterday afternoon and evening, with just a short break for dinner.

The result?  Literally, an 11-quart stockpot full of cherries, which yielded seven overstuffed quart bags to put in the freezer, about a pint of sour cherry juice (I feel some good cocktails coming on), and another five cups left over to make a pie this evening.

It's been bloody hot everywhere this week, but this kind of bounty is a reminder of what summer is good for.  And when we thaw out some of those cherries to make another pie (or cobbler, or crisp, or turnovers) in the middle of next winter, it will be a welcome taste of a different season.


Christy said...

I hope this helped keep those summer doldrums at bay! I love that you found ways to keep summer in a jar. As much as we all may resent it now, come February, I expect it will be most welcomed.

Jane said...

This might inspire me to do something with peaches (which have the same imaginative hold on me) and write about them.

This is great!

And while I've had lots of homemade pies, I've never had a homemade cherry one, which is now all I can think about.