Yesterday I went cherry picking at the home of the people with whom we celebrated the Fourth of July. They have a gorgeous sour cherry tree right next to their house, perched high on the slope that gave us such magnificent views of the fireworks. Now, you may not know this about me, but I am an expert cherry picker. When I was growing up, we regularly went cherry picking in Door County every July, and Dad and I were the two best pickers in our family. So, I came armed with 3 large plastic containers, about a gallon each, thinking that I wouldn’t fill them all, because it’s only one small tree, but better “have them and not need them than need them and not have them.”
You see where this is going, right? 😉
So, the tree was loaded. I filled all 3 containers to the brim. I even tried to pick cherries that were a little harder to reach, so as to leave the “easier” cherries for the master and mistress of the house. In my zeal to pick the out of reach cherries, I even broke off one branch – gasp!! I felt really bad, but it would have been an impossible-branch-to-pick anyway. I was hoping to just bend it down so that I could reach the cherries (while standing on a step-stool, while perched on the end of a high hill – do you sense the daredevil side of me?), when the entire branch cracked. It was only one 3 foot long branch, but still! I felt so bad. However, I felt a little better when I figured that the branch was already hanging over the neighbor’s roof (houses are closetogetherinCalifornia), and the mistress of the house said that any cherries they couldn’t reach would just be left on the tree anyway. So, I figured I did them a favor by “pruning” the tree. At least, that’s how I assuaged my guilty conscience.
Regardless, I now have 3+ gallons of cherries to pit and do something with (either freeze or make into jam at this point.) Plus our little purple plum tree on the property is also ripe, so I picked those plums yesterday. There’s not a ton of them and they’re really tiny, but they made the most fantastic jam two years ago, so I’d like to make a batch of jam again. I’ve got my work cut out for me. The laundry will NEVER get folded now! 🙂 LOL
Finally, it is H O T here today. Record highs all over the place. I feel so bad for the firefighters who are fighting all the wildfires in the state. If it’s practically 100 degrees here on the Peninsula (where it’s historically supposed to be cool, especially in July), how hot must it be in other parts of the state??? I honestly can’t imagine it. We all will be sleeping downstairs tonight, even JJ, who loves our mattress and will sleep there even when it’s hot. But it is THAT HOT. Baby Curious J is attempting to take a nap in her Pack ‘n Play in the dining room, the coolest room in the house right now. She’s quiet, so she must have fallen asleep. With this humidity, her little curls all over her head are even curlier. She looks so adorable, but I feel bad for her as she is so warm, too. Sigh. This heat is supposed to last for at least three more days, too. This is one of those times where I really miss a/c. Tomorrow I’ve got an appointment at Sears to get J’s 9-month picture taken. I think the girls and I may hang out at the mall for a while, enjoying the cool air.
Time to go pit those cherries. No one is gonna do it for me, and I’d hate for them to go to waste.
And, because with all this talk of cherries, now you want a good cherry recipe, don’t you? 🙂 I present to you my mother’s Cherry Soup recipe, which our family traditionally eats on Christmas Eve. But, it’s good any time of year.
- 4 C. tart (sour) cherries
- 4 C. water
- 1/4 – 3/4 C. sugar (depending on how sweet the cherries are and your own personal taste)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. lemon juice (opt.)
Bring everything to a boil. Add dumplings:
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 C. milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 C. flour
Drop teaspoons of dough into boiling soup. Cook uncovered 5 minutes.
If you make this recipe using fresh cherries (like I will be),
- Use 6-8 cups of water (rather than 4 cups).
- The lemon juice is NOT optional, but don’t add it until the soup is boiling.
- Boil soup for 10 minutes before adding the dumplings.