What Comes After Harvest?
Preserving of course.
Here's a little run down on what we did this year. I'd love to hear any of your techniques and recipes, too. The internet is good for this, but nothing beats first hand reports on how things turned out. I made a cherry relish for Thanksgiving from a recipe I found on the web and it was good- but not what I expected- instead of sweet and a bit sour, it was a bit...shocking.
First, we used our big press to juice many gallons. I froze most of it to make Cherry Cider (mostly apple with about 1/3 cherry juice, and a little pear juice to sweeten it up a bit. Let me know if you want the recipe as it turned out great). Freezing the juice enables me to spread the projects out through the winter. By using small containers I can put one in the fridge to have a drink every day-while this juice is extremely healthy it's not all like medicine. I also mix it with tonic water for cherry pop. You can also add it to other things like teas, protein drinks and smoothies. Just defrost some and make jelly for Christmas presents.
Then the PITTING. I turned on tunes, and then an audio book, and pitted and pitted. Actually I like to do it- cherries are really beautiful. I know that sounds weird but the deep color and sheen are amazing and rich. Truly eye candy. Pitting resulted in many gallons of frozen cherries to just plop in for icy smoothies, and really any cooking after thawed. Then, of course, there's canned cherries that you can quickly snack on or dump in a muffin recipe, and dried cherries for oatmeal, cookies and gorp.
You can see why I would welcome any cherry recipes and uses that you recommend out of your own kitchen. Has anyone tried Freeze Dried cherry crystals or powder? Hmmm