[Note: while coming back to tag my older posts (who knew I'd write more than just a few?) I found that a significant portion of the original post was missing. Hmmm... I'll do my best to recreate it, but with my memory, who knows what you're going to get.]
Have I ever mentioned that J is obsessed with cherries? I, too, enjoy the sweet-tart squirt of a perfectly rubied ripe cherry in the summer time, but J goes way beyond enjoying cherries. He loves them. He waits (not very patiently, mind you) for June each year to get his grubby paws on as many cherries as he can. He'll even stalk the produce section of the market in January, hoping to scoop up some South American cherries. The boy has cherry issues.
Each June and July I can expect J to come home from one store or another with bags full of cherries. He's been known to bring home twelve pounds at a time. He eats them all, too! He'll plop onto the couch with a giant stainless steel bowl filled with cherries and chomp his way all the way through in one sitting. That's at least a couple of pounds of cherries at a time. I told you - issues.
Upon his return from Las Vegas, J sat on the couch and perused the shopping circulars that arrived during his trip. He discovered that, heavens above, cherries were on sale at ridiculously low prices at almost every local market. Cherry season had officially hit its peak! Further noting that that very evening was the last day of the sale prices, J grabbed his wallet and keys and rushed himself out of the house. An hour later he returned and he wasn't alone. He brought back (brace yourself) twenty-eight pounds of cherries. Yes, that twenty-eight pounds.
With very little free space in the fridge, J and I got very very busy the next day prepping cherries for the freezer, jam making, sorbet making, and more. Those cherries had to be processed fast before they went bad. Who's the brain trust who decided to handle twenty-eight pounds of cherries at one time?
A quick tip to all you cherry lovers out there. Do not give your spouse the spiffy cherry pitter and resign yourself to using a paring knife to pit a giant bowl full of juicy black-purple-red ripe cherries. Your fingers will turn purple. Your clothes will get spattered and stained in juice. You will poke your hand with the tip of the blade repeatedly. You will wonder if you poked yourself hard enough that you're bleeding, but you won't be able to tell right away because your hands are red already.
Yeah, I was a little bitter. A few burstingly sweet cherries later I got over it. These are really good. They're plump. They're firm. They're wonderfully sweet and just tart enough to be pleasing. They're perfect. Twenty-eight pounds? Not even close to enough.
So we spent the bulk of the day getting stained with cherry juice. I made sorbet mix. I froze trays of pitted cherries. I'm about to make another big batch of jam. I'll freeze more trays. The payoff for funky stained fingers and clothes and all of this hard work? We've got this lovely kiss of summer sweetness saved to enjoy during the excessively gray and cold days of February. I'll be able to blend them into tasty beverages (smoothies, margaritas, cherry mojitos) and snuggle them into baked goods (muffins, scones, clafoutis, pies) and cook them into more jam or a lovely sauce or chutney if I run out.
I'm set for cherries for the rest of the year.