The Best Laid Plans…

…are subject to change when someone utters the words, “I know where there’s a great cherry tree….”

First Canning 2009

First Canning 2009

I really had not planned on doing any canning today–or even this week.  Yes, I picked up some supplies, but my main food preservation goal was to get roasted summer squash and beans in the freezer (which I did–six bags).

But then my friend Gail stopped by and mentioned this sour cherry tree covered with ripe fruit in a public place. Then I thought of an apricot tree nearby that might be bearing.

At first we just thought we’d scout–check it out and see what was there and if it was worth picking–maybe see if a ladder was necessary.  I was wearing a dress, after all, and had other plans for the day. Maybe we’d pick tomorrow if it was worthwhile.

Well, after seeing both trees had good fruit in quantity, it become a simple matter of how fast I could change and we could grab her ladder and get back to start picking. After all, H just loves the sour cherries!

I took a few apricots and most of the cherries; she took most of the apricots and a few of the cherries.  We searched around town for a cherry pitter to no avail until I hit upon the idea of using the tube from a ballpoint pen–it worked just fine.

Several hours later and an even messier kitchen than I started with produced 6 jars of sour cherries (alas, the seventh broke in the canner) and 4 jars of mixed cherries and apricots. I canned them with a very light syrup of 12 cups water to 3 cups sugar, plus added a tablespoon of Still 173 rum to each jar.

There’s plenty of syrup left over, which may get cooked down, strained, and canned for pancake and ice cream topping, as I’m running low on maple syrup, and I don’t foresee a Vermont visit (or a Vermonter visit) in the near future.

So the canning season begins for 2009.  I started a lot earlier last year–putting up a few quarts of pickled asparagus spears in spring, but to tell the truth I haven’t cracked them yet.  I’ve been waiting to schedule a Bloody Mary brunch, but it never seems like the right time.

Tomorrow I’ll work on the rest of today’s original plans, clean up the kitchen, and work on some final course grading.  But then, there were a lot of cherries left on that tree…


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by chrisjohnbaldwin on August 5, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    that picture makes my mouth water. yum.

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