What you see in this first picture is a pretty good glimpse of what my kitchen has looked like for the last 2 days following our trip to the cherry orchard. Cherries, cherry juice, and lots of messy bowls and colanders.
All of the messiness, stiff shoulders and back, and persistance have been worth it as my kitchen now contains a sea of mason jars filled with cherry concoctions of every kind.
Most of the tart cherries were canned as cherry pie filling, with a little more than a quart leftover for tonight's dinner. I promised the kids a blob of cherry pie filling with whipped cream for dessert. They've patiently waited for a taste while I cooked, canned, and cleaned.
Cherry vanilla butter simmered in our kitchen for just over 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday evening. It's hard to believe how much a 5 quart crockpot full of cherries will cook down. We ended up with 3 pints and 2 half pints of cherry butter.
One of my favorite recipes to try were the Brandied Cherries from Canning for a New Generation. The few that were leftover after canning sat in the fridge overnight and were wonderful to try the next day.
Also from Canning for a New Generation, Holiday Cherries. With their apple cider vinegar tartness and plenty of sugar to provide sweetness, these cherries both make you pucker and melt in your mouth.
My mason jar rack is starting to fill up and the tomatoes haven't even started coming in! Or the pickles! It looks like I'll have to clear more space in my pantry. What a difficult problem to have! ;)
In other cherry news, did you know that cherries make wonderful paint? Elizabeth set to work last night with a single cherry and a paintbrush. Voila! A cherry juice painting!
Be sure to stop back by on Wednesday for a fabulous giveaway!