I LOVE cherries! I love cherries so much that frequently you will see me in the grocery store looking longingly at them. Unfortunately, my practical side rarely lets me buy fruit which has been airmailed from the southern hemisphere for 6 dollars a pound. This year I decided I was going to U-pick sweet cherries so I could cut out the hangdog face while grocery shopping.
I was all set. The orchard destination was in my driver’s head (Lee), sunblock applied, sunglasses on head, and water bottles packed. I was a cherry picking machine ready to be unleashed on unsuspecting trees. Then, disaster stuck. My driver called up to make sure the cherries were ripe. They were ripe alright, but the U-pick option was no longer available. Hangdog face in 3…2…1…
After considering it for 3 seconds, I picked up my sad face and declared we were going to get cherries anyway. The pre-picked boxes of cherries at the orchard were still really cheap compared to grocery store prices. We came home with 34 pounds of cherries.
After filling those quarts, we decided to dehydrate the remaining cherries into “cherry raisins.” We pitted these cherries and followed Flavors of the Umpqua’s directions on drying. We started with 7.5 lbs of pitted cherries which yielded about 1.5 lbs of dried cherries. I think we may have over-dried them a bit, but they should be tasty regardless.