Racing to outrun the derecho and its predicted mayhem, I made it home a bit later than anticipated and started immediately on my quest to preserve The Cherries.
Freezing cherries turns out to be a really simple, straightforward process: wash and pit the cherries, layer them on parchment on a cookie sheet, put them in the freezer till they're solid, then toss in a freezer bag. It seemed too easy to work, but lo and behold, I've now got a gallon bag of frozen sour cherries in my freezer. Neat!
Well, except for the pitting part. "Neat" is not a word you could use to describe that process. Nor is "speedy."
|Pitting is a bloody affair.|
This time I was determined, though. And inspired not a little bit by Jorge Garcia's (Hurley from Lost) recent first canning experience described on his blog. So I got out the canner Mom gave me, and the jars I bought last year, and my tongs and canning funnel and lid lifter I bought mumble mumble years ago, and got to work.
After exhaustive searching in books and the Internet, I chose this recipe for its simplicity (just cherries and sugar) and detail (plus the blogger had a nice Canning 101 page). It was a good choice, because the jam behaved just as the recipe described, right down to the successful wrinkle test that lets you know your jam is setting.
|Wish you could have smelled this; oh so good.|
The end result: I admit it doesn't look that impressive. A pint and a half of jam, one and a half little jars. But they both sealed within minutes of processing, and those little POPS made all the effort and worry worthwhile. This morning, I'm still pretty excited and proud of myself. Maybe I should be getting out that quilting book next.