I love cherry season, and the sight of trees loaded with juicy red fruit just about makes me swoon. I love the smell, but especially the taste of freshly picked, sun warmed tart cherries. Heck, I don't even mind my fingers being sticky and stained from picking. Fresh picked fruit is so worth it.
Picking cherries (and blueberries) was my summer job for a few years. I always liked the sense of accomplishment that came with filling those buckets one right after the other, and of course I liked the money. Hey, five dollars a day was a lot to me back then. However, some of my favorite memories have to do with sitting perched on a branch high up in the tree, shaded from the blazing sun and gorging on juicy deliciousness as I watched others walking around beneath me. Oh, the taste...
As a young girl, I remember staying overnight with an aunt whose house was surrounded by a cherry orchard
and she would send us out to pick fresh fruit from the trees in her yard so she could make a pie. I. Love. Cherry. Pie. I really do. I'm trying to figure out what my favorite pie is and I can't be sure, but at the moment I'm saying it's cherry.
So, Saturday morning, tart cherries were in and my plan for the day was to pick some. I ended up with 15 pounds of tart and I could have used more, but I also accidently ended up with 12 pounds of sweet. I seriously only meant to pick enough to eat within a couple days, but because it took me a long time to fill a bucket with tarts, I guess I got carried away with how easy it was to pick the sweets and before I knew it, my bucket was full. So easy to pick. So easy to eat...I ended up giving away most of them, but I did keep just enough for me to eat within a couple days...or so.
The end result is cherry jam and canned cherry pie filling. I love having homemade pie filling in the cellar so I can whip up a pie any time I want during the winter. I'm thinking a cherry pie will be delicious in January.
Next up, blueberries and apricots. So much summer goodness.