It’s Cherry Day!
This morning I decided it was time for Cherry Day; an annual event around here. The vacant lot behind my house has some old and productive Queen Ann’s cherry trees planted on the edge of my place. They hang over my yard. So I consider the cherries in my yard mine. I like cherries, and I like to put up the food that grows on and around my place.
My son and I picked about 3 1/4 pounds of the small tasty cherries. We would have had more, except I ate a lot of them. I had to keep my strength up. It took us about an hour. Picking cherries on a warm and sunny June summer Sunday morning is pretty great.
I’m not, however the only one around that likes cherries. So do the squirrels and the birds, particularly the ravens. They both chew me out when I go into the back yard for any reason during cherry season, even for completely innocent errands like hanging out the laundry. I’m sure I can understand both the squirrels and the ravens. They both tell me the same thing. “Stay away Human! Those are for me!”
These trees are old and probably 30 ft tall. Most of the cherries grow towards the top, tantalizingly out of reach-at least of me, being without feathers or claws. So, I gather what I can from the ground with my ladder. The tops of the trees were filled with a squirrel family feasting and above them was a large raven eating his fill. There is enough for all.
Making jam, especially from free fruit around your place is one of the ways to live easier on the planet. No trucking involved! I find the jars at garage sales, and reuse them over and over.
I was recently given a cherry pitter which I now consider one of the top inventions of all times. Okay maybe not that great, but it saves hours of tedious work, so I love it. If you are going to use fresh cherries, it’s worth finding one.
Once I pitted them, I had the jam made in less than an hour. I just follow the directions on the pectin box.
I got 2 and 1/2 pints of cherry jam for about 2 hours work. That jam will be a special treat next winter, and in the meantime I’ll admire the jars on my pantry shelf.
Here are some photos: