Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fave: Cherry-stained hands and the fruits of their labor

Last Friday afternoon, I got a random phone call from my Dad in Oregon. He and my Mum had access to all the free sweet cherries they could pick and planned to pick buckets full and make cherry juice. I was invited to participate in the family cherry festivities and make jam and pie filling. 

And we did. 

Seven hours later we had lots and lots of canned juice, 20 jars of jam, and six quarts of pie filling. Packing up my things, I assumed I was done. 

Oh no, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. 

My parents wanted me continue the fun by sending me home with their hot water bath and a 5-gallon bucket of cherries. (Please note - I have zero documentation of the cherry festivities in Oregon. I forgot my camera. Yeah, what kind of a blogger am I? I'll tell you, a LAME one.)

Enter, my friend Kristy. When I spotted her at church Sunday morning, I accosted approached her with the idea of "coming out to our place for an evening of visiting and making jam." Doesn't that sound low-key, fun, and perhaps a bit cozy? It doesn't sound at all like, "Come over to my house where I will hold you hostage until you cut and pit cherries for 4+ hours and perhaps permanently stain your fingers" does it. That would probably have been a more accurate invitation.
(This is what a cherry manicure looks like, you know, if you were wondering.) 

We pitted and chopped and washed and boiled our way to delicious preserves and a messy kitchen. I'm a little sorry I didn't take any pictures of the mess; it was quite epic.
(You can kind of see the mess on the stove top, but it's nothing like the sticky cherry goo that covered much of the counter top.) 

Here's adorable Kristy!
And she's wearing her equally adorable apron. 

Lana had to enjoy the canning from afar (sharp knives and hot stuff everywhere), but she didn't mind. She had Kristy's husband, Ian, to play with/chase/tickle for hours and hours.
When she wanted a break, she relaxed in her new camp chair. (Thanks Grandpa Rick and Grandma Cindy. Lana loves her birthday presents!) 

And here it is. Quite literally the fruit of our labor.
I think these jars look really pretty and I know their contents are quite tasty. Over the weekend, we made juice, jam, pie filling, cherry cobbler (x2), and 6 cherry smoothies (so far). We've given cherries away and I still have a bowl of them in the fridge right now. 

Cherries anyone?

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