We have a dwarf sour cherry that my parents planted when I was young (my children are the 5th generation to live in our home). I remember my mom picking and pitting cherries, the delicious things she’d make and the containers of frozen cherries saved for the winter. Now it’s my turn. I have a great respect for those who hand pit cherries and the hours of labor it takes to complete the task. I was gifted (probably at a birthday) a cherry pitter that definitely saves time and me from juice stained fingernails. Don’t get me wrong though, it still takes a good amount of time to pit 9 cups of cherries which is what went into the freezer the other day.
Our cherries started ripening in early June, a few here and there each day. The boys grabbed for the ones they could reach even though most weren’t quite ripe and were glad to say “they helped”. I excitedly checked every day and picked as many as I could reach. There are some years when the cherries aren’t worth picking. Sometimes they are infested with worms and other times the birds wait until I’m not watching and devour the whole lot of them. I don’t use chemicals on the food that I grow myself so it’s hit of miss what we get. Thankfully this year they all must be well fed elsewhere!
The first week of picking I eagerly pulled out my little pitter machine thingy(like my technical terms!?!) and happily prepared enough for cobbler which was requested by my boys. After the 3rd time in the same week and 4 cups each time, the novelty had worn off a bit. So now here I am in the 3rd week of cherry picking, the boys are no longer eager to help(there’s now blueberries and the few raspberries which are much sweeter to eat right off the plant!) and I just can’t let free food in my yard go to the birds. Unless it’s my chickens of course(wink). Besides the 3 cobblers, I’ve made a delicious sour cherry jam with honey as the sweetener(I use Pomona’s Universal Pectin) and froze around 12 cups of cherries so far.
So out I went to pick this morning. I see the end in site as the fruit is getting sparse and the birds are now having more interest in the overly ripe ones that I can’t always reach(even on a ladder I can’t quite get the top branches). So what to make? I’ll probably take a vote from the boys. Will it be pie, cobbler or into the freezer? We shall see!
I really do enjoy the harvest of everything in my yard. Growing our own food for the table, canner or freezer is such a rewarding experience! Blueberries and raspberries will be next to pick, at least I don’t have to pit those!