Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cherry Jam

I'm not sure whether I picked the lazy way or the harder way yesterday.

The cherries are coming ready. Gary's been sending the boys out to pick. I didn't particularly want to pit cherries. I hate pitting cherries. It's sticky. It makes my wrists hurt. So how to make jam without messing with the pits?

Ah ha! Maybe I could try the method I used for making grape jam with my juicer.We set up the juicer outdoors. I couldn't stop laughing about the seeds flying everywhere. Even Maggie was giggling with me. Putting the cherries into the juicer took the pulp and juice through the machine, but the seeds were like a lidless popcorn-popper. Seeds were popping up and flying all over the table and the deck, sometimes landing in our hair! It was hilarious.

This has got to be the ugliest jam I ever made. These aren't the reddest cherries; there's some yellow in them. (That's because the cardinals & sparrows and I are having a disagreement about who has dibs on the fruit. So I'm picking some of it before it's fully ripe.) Besides, a lot of the red skin went through the juicer without imparting it's color to the cherry-goo. So I have this kinda pinky-browny beige jam ... that tastes fantastic. Even though it's ugly.

I can't decide whether I'll go for the jelly or the jam next time. I wonder what would happen if I just smashed up the cherries and cooked them for jelly-juice, without getting rid of the pits first? At least I'd have the red color. Or, maybe, I'll just do something really outlandish and PIT them.

My cherry tree is sad and sorry. It's covered with lichen. The bark is split and parts of the trunk are rotting. By all rights, it should probably come down. But look at all the cherries! The young sweet-cherry trees planted by the previous owners just don't produce the same way. It's that old thing that looks like it's about to die that has oodles of cherries. (And this picture was taken AFTER we'd cleaned off all the ripe ones of the past week.)

I have the feeling there is some analogy here about sanctification, and the irrelevance of how something looks from the outside.


  1. It's not until life in this vale of tears has made us look like that cherry tree that we have any hope of bearing fruit.

    Maybe gray hair's not such a bad thing.

  2. Wow. Yum. Cherries. And that tree has character. :)

  3. The ugliest jam I ever made was banana-walnut. Dark brown with tan chunks. The taste was worth ignoring its lack of visual appeal.

  4. That does sound ugly, Karen. But also sounds tasty!

    As for pitting, I spent an hour and a half this evening pitting enough cherries for either a batch of jam or a pie. An hour and a half! Did it with a movie playing, but still...