Every once in a while, I’ll go above and beyond the call of duty. Granted, when it comes to harvesting any sort of fruit or vegetable, I’m always game, but when the time comes and it’s raining outside – well let’s just say I’m not always singing.
Such was the case last Friday when I climbed in to a friend’s car and we headed up to Hudson, NY to go pick sour cherries. It was pouring, and cold for July, and when we arrived to the parking lot of the cherry orchard, it was packed. People were everywhere and no one gave a flip that it was raining. So, I decided to put my game face on join the party.
I grabbed a bucket and made my way to a cherry filled tree. I picked a cherry and popped it in my mouth to make sure the tree had good flavor (as if one cherry would be the deciding factor, but whatevs, it was delicious).
Before I knew it, my bucket was half full and my cherry picking adventure turned into a cherry palooza. Picking mania. Cherries were everywhere and with every four I picked, I’d eat two. I filled my bucket and went back for another. I was soaked to the bone, but I didn’t care. I was in cherry heaven. I kept thinking about what I was going to make with these cherries.
What didn’t occur to me – having to pit all of these cherries.
Turns out, I picked 17 pounds worth of cherries, and I had to pit every single one. One by one. I sat on my front porch and for four straight hours, I pitted said cherries.
Once the pit process was completed, it was time to get to work. I decided to create a cherry infused vodka recipe, which I will be publishing in my cookbook. I created a Cherry Chutney recipe, that you can find here. Serve over any protein including a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese as an appetizer, this recipe is not only versatile, but really delicious. The recipe can be canned, or frozen for up to a year. If you’re going the frozen route, I suggest freezing in quart-sized freezer bags. Freeze flat on a sheet pan, then when thoroughly frozen, remove from the sheet pan and stack in the freezer.
And, in honor of my beloved Daddy, whose very favorite pie is cherry, I created this delicious Tart Cherry Pie Filling recipe. You can find that mouthwatering recipe here.