Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Bounty of Cherries

I am lucky enough to have a big beautiful cherry tree in my front yard. It was harvest time a couple weeks ago and we were in cherry heaven. The only tricky part is that the tree is frikin' huge! My mom came over to help me bring in what we could. This mostly involves getting as high up as we can, then pulling branches down to where we can reach them. Here's me in a tree:

We started out on a ladder, but quickly switched to picking via Westie. This involved mom standing on top of her VW Westfalia and me pulling branches down into range. Here's a look at how big the tree is. The Westie is a good 7' tall, and mom's another 5'6", so the tree looks about 40' high. I think we probably managed to pick the bottom half.

That was a lot of cherries. I mean A LOT. Here's what my sink looked like after I had given away a whole bunch.

Mom was very nice - she let me pay her for her time in cherries:

Max was a trooper - he helped me pit about half of them before he got bored and went off to play.

We ate an awful lot of them just plain. Then I pulled out my awesome dehydrator. I did about 6 trays of just dried cherries. These are destined for granola bars, trail mix, muffins, etc. Yum!

I did another 6 trays of cherry fruit leather. You can do these without a dehydrator too - just spread your puree on a baking sheet lined in parchment paper and dry in a very low oven until it's no longer sticky.

Finally, I had enough cherries left for a big batch of raspberry-cherry jelly. So now my cherry binge is ebbing and I'm keeping an eye on the super-laden plum tree out back. Delicious!

All the wonderful fruit is one of my favorite things about summer. Oh, and water fun! What's been great in your summer so far? Have you checked out the giveaway we have going on right now? Just head over to our Facebook Page to join in!


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