Life is a basket of cherries, and then you eat them. And make stuff out of them. Eat a few more, and make something more.
Can you tell, it is cherry season here in France? Well, at least where we live. Our neighbours on either side have cherry trees. They gorgeously bloomed a few weeks ago. One of the first trees to bloom in the area. And now they are dripping with fruit.
And! Even better! We have been offered the opportunity to pick as many cherries as we would like. Result!
This just re-iterates why I love living in France. The camaraderie (irrespective and in consequence of current circumstances) abounds, and particularly manifests itself in sharing bounty. It’s a lovely thing, and especially when it comes to cherries.
We do have plans for our own cherry tree amongst the collection of fruit trees to be planted around our duck enclosure / secret garden. But even so it will be a few years before we are able to share our bounty. And therefore, I am doubly thankful to our neighbours.
Now interestingly, the two cherry trees are placed in almost the same place in each garden, on either side of us. Yet one blossomed and has born fruit a good two weeks prior to the other. Talk about planning! Well, maybe not really planned. That is, unless this was originally all one small holding way back when.
A couple of days ago I picked from the one neighbours tree. They kindly offered, and even left out a step ladder to reach the higher branches. Lots of cherries to be picked. And lots of birds waiting in the wings for those on high. Win, win all around.
I managed to collect a full baskets worth to bring home. And then the plans began on what to do with them. A few were of course duly eaten. They needed taste testing, of course, of which they passed with flying colours.
And then onto prep work. I sat at Cafe du Canard in the duck enclosure with my tools. Cutting board and sharp knife, tick. Jars for cherries, tick. Tin for the pits, tick. Bowl for hedgehog, tick.
All the under ripe or small cherries were pitted and cut in half and put in a jar for using later. Overly ripe or bruised bits, sans pits, into the hedgehog’s bowl. I am not really sure if hedgehogs like cherries, but I will leave it out for him just in case. It would be a shame to let them go to waste if he did like them. The perfectly ripe cherries stayed in the basket, looking pretty, and enticing me to graze now and then.
My basket provided me with two jars of cherry halves. So what shall I make? Jam for certain. Cherry is my favourite flavour jam, so this is a given. Then on to something dessert like. A crumble, I think. Then, hmmm, time to trawl the internet for additional recipes…
Links to recipes I made from this batch:
Cherry Jam – mine came out more like cherry compote, but that was my fault as I wasn’t very exact at measuring. Still, wonderfully delicious.
and Cherry crumble (gluten free) – another yum. I substituted arrowroot for cornstarch and butter for margarine. A nice and easy to make recipe.
Cherry Chutney – I love to make spicy fruit chutneys, and this recipe does not disappoint. Chutneys are particularly great for cooking with, not just dolloping on the side. Spread some over a pork chop or veggie burger next time you are cooking.
and Cherry Bacon Grilled Cheese – this is for those of you who like fruit in or with your cheese. A delicious upgrade to a simple dish.
Addendum… Hedgehogs are not bothered about cherries. Now mealy worms, nom, nom, nom. But cherries, nah. Maybe they are too sweet? Anyway they ended up added to the compost pile. I am sure the ants will love the sweetness.