Local cherries

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.

We de-stemmed and filled 18 quarts with cherries which we put in the freezer. They will mostly be used as a fruit snack throughout the year. Those 18 quarts contained about 20 pounds.

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.

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8 Responses to Local cherries

  1. Leigh says:

    That’s an amazing amount of cherries! But I know you’re delighted to have every ounce. I only wish my DH loved cherries as well. I love a good cherry pie but he wouldn’t eat any. Hey… wait a minute…. if I make that pie I can have it all to myself! Great idea, thanks Robin!

    • robin says:

      Oh, a whole cherry pie to yourself sounds really nice! lol Lee likes pie too much for that to ever happen here. šŸ™‚

  2. Ron says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of cherries. Mel loves them too, hard to wait for the tree to start bearing…

    • robin says:

      We planted one sweet cherry tree but the squirrels and birds plucked all the cherries. I was not amused. When the tree gets bigger hopefully it wont matter as much what the wildlife take.

  3. Snowbrush says:

    “I love cherries so much that frequently you will see me in the grocery store looking longingly at them.”

    Like, do you stand there for hours and hours, only leaving to pee, or do you only stand there for a few minutes? And where is Lee during this ogling orgy? Is he sitting in the car listening to music right up until the store closes and the car battery runs down?

    Peggy loves cherries too. It’s one of several things that you and she appear to have in common. Don’t get me wrong; I LIKE cherries, but not like watermelon. I eat two 20 pound melons every week at this time of year.

    • robin says:

      Wow! That is a lot of watermelon to eat every week. I would have to pee every 3 minutes if I ate that much.

      I wonder if I stood in the store for hours staring at the rack of cherries what the store employees would do. That sounds like a funny experiment. Except I don’t know if I could keep up the intense looks without breaking out in giggles. šŸ˜€

  4. Phoebe says:

    Buck and I picked 40 pounds last year. I froze about 10 pounds and turned the rest into syrup with chunks of cherries. The syrup has been the biggest hit. It’s good on everything from chocolate cake and brownies to vanilla ice cream. It’s SO GOOD.
    One batch of syrup I added Balsamic Vinegar — I know it sounds weird but on ice cream it’s crazy good. I think I better go have some right now…

    • robin says:

      That sounds sooooo good. I have some cherry syrup from two years ago that I always use for pancakes. It doesn’t have chunks in it though. That would make it 100 times better I bet!

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