Happy Friday! Yes friends this is 12 pounds of sour cherries that I harvested from our cherry tree during nap time this afternoon! Although not exactly wonderful to eat straight from the bucket (unless you're a sour nut like me) they make some wonderful pies and they work wonderfully in baked products. Mainly because they will maintain some of their flavor even during the baking process.
Early this year we invested in a hand held cherry pitter/stoner that did the process one cherry at a time (see earlier blogs). But deciding that 12 pounds of cherries takes what seems an eternity this way. I had my husband call the cooking store in Des Moines to see if they had anything a bit faster. When he came home he brought me this little German beauty --
That's what I'm talking about. Speeds the process tremendously. Cherries with pits loaded in the top, pits spit into holding container and pitted cherries come out the other side. Into their nice bath of anti-browning solution to wait for all the things I have planned for them. Note: this was great fun for the boys. Next year Clark may be able to operate this thing on his own. Imagine the speed at which cherries can be processed then! He certainly enjoyed pitting cherries this year.
After the children were in bed I kept working on cherries. You see here some delicious cherry almond bread. One loaf for us - one for the freezer and the Iowa State Fair. You really should leave a quick bread sit for at least 12 hours before slicing into it but Alan and I simply couldn't resist. It was good even though it was only 4 hours old. Can't wait for breakfast!
Also decided to make some cherry preserves. With that I am only out of jelly jars - hope to pick some up at an auction tomorrow. I don't think I have ever completely cleaned out my stock of jars of any one size. I am determined to process/can as much as possible this year - not for the State Fair (although there are plenty of canning categories) but just to have in the basement. Usually I freeze a lot of produce but my freezer space is getting pretty limited and I have lots of jars that I can use so trying to can what is able to be canned and freeze that which doesn't can well or easily or that I just run out of time on the canning end of things. In this picture I am wiping the rims on the cherry preserves with a damp paper towel. Also working on my canning callus on my thumb. Much more of handling hot jars and my thumb will be numb to all pain for the rest of the year.