18 July 2014

Cherry Picking

I really want some cherry trees on our property...
If there's one skill I'm not good at, it's bartering. It's hard to find the nerve to ask someone for a favor in exchange for a favor because I feel like I'm inconveniencing them. When someone barters with me though, I'm all ears.
Kate helped too, of course.
A friend asked to borrow our truck to haul away some brush in exchange for allowing us to pick cherries at their house. Deal! The truck was borrowed, the cherries ripened and we got there just in time before they soured.
As usual, the girls are not inclined to sit back and watch. They are always hands on, which meant they were scrambling up the ladder to yank off the cherries. After a bit of instruction and caution about being gentle with the fruit tree, they were regular pros.
There may have been some taste testing during the process as well.
We ended up with a generous bagful and though we could have gleaned more, the girls decided they were done. It was drizzling a bit and they were sticky, bored and since they're country girls, don't really understand the danger of streets despite my attempts to teach them. End of cherry picking.
Straws work great for pitting cherries!
The next day, the girls and I washed, pitted and processed all the cherries in a single standing. It's hard work and though I'm so happy we were able to get some more free food (asparagus or mulberries or hickory nuts, anyone?), I'm equally glad that I don't have to gain all our food by our own laboring.
I've already made some cherry bars and will surely make some cobbler and pie with them too. And if anyone's got a good cherry pie filling recipe, do share. It was my first attempt and it was more watery than I would have liked. Still, delicious.

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