Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Check out my Cherry!"

My family loves cherries. We also love blueberries, Marion berries, Logan berries, strawberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and black berries. In fact, if a person could survive entirely off of berries, I think we would give it a go.

These pictures were taken during our last cherry-picking trip. We know a lovely couple who have a cherry orchard on their property. The arrangement is quite simple really - we bring them several bags of 100% Kona Coffee that the IL's send us from Hawaii and we get to pick as many cherries as we can cart away.

We went berry picking for the first time about five years ago, right after my husband and I moved to Oregon from Colorado. On a whim (because you can do things 'on a whim' before you have kids) we visited a local "u-pick" berry farm and for about 15 bucks we left with more raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and black caps than we could shake a stick at. Needless to say - we were hooked.

Now every year around April or so we start to get antsy waiting for the sun and the warmth of summer to come and ripen the berries. We practically start foaming at the mouth as we daydream about the red, sweet, swollen fruit and how it will taste right off the branch, in our pancakes, on top of our cereal, and in a cool, refreshing smoothie. We also freeze a lot of fruit to get us through the long winter months and we give a lot to neighbors and friends.

This year I want to try something new. I have always wanted to learn how to make jam and to can fruits and veggies, but some reason I'm a little intimidated by the whole canning/jam making process. I just don't know where to start! So please, if anyone out there has some good advice, I'd love to hear it. You never know, there could be a jar of homemade jam in it for you!


Mike said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! My wife totally tried to make baby food out of fresh fruit, but it still sits frozen in our fridge, so I'm guessing it didn't turn out to well.

Good luck with the jam!

Leslie said...

Mike - I also attempted to make homemade baby food - I tried to grind up barley in a blender to make baby cereal. The blender suffered a horrific, smoking death and I never attempted homemade baby food again.

Sonya said...

Oh how great!!! I have never seen how cherries grow before! And as far as the canning goes...if my SIL can do it, YOU can!!! She isn't the smartest cherry in the bunch! hahaha

BUT...I am going to try to make pickles this weekend, we'll see how that turns out! I too am a little scared about canning. Let me know how the jammie goes!

Take Care!