It’s cherry harvest season at my house. I picked my first three ripe cherries a few days ago. I knew the majority of them would be ready soon. I went out and checked the tree in the front yard today and found most of those chearful red cherries ready. I’m excited because that little tree has never produced such a crop before.
The tree had beautiful pink blooms every year that turned white before they covered my deck like a wedding aisle. I took a picture one spring and posted it on Facebook saying something about my pretty dogwood tree. It didn’t take long before I had several comments about my tree being a cherry tree, not a dogwood.
It piqued my interest, so I did a little research. Yes, the tree was a cherry tree, but it had never produced any cherries. I decided I was going to do something about that. I dragged my husband to our local Atwoods store where we bought three trees for our front yard. We bought a pear tree, a Japanese Maple tree, and a cherry tree.
I was just certain that planting another cherry tree would make that big beautiful tree outside my window produce cherries. At that point, my husband was still arguing that it was a dogwood tree. Well, I was right. Two years later, I noticed cherries on our new tree in the front. I went running out to check the status of the big tree in the back. I wasn’t disappointed.
That big tree, which had never produced cherries, was loaded with tiny black cherries. I dashed inside holding the evidence in the hand and informed my husband we had a cherry tree. He denied it.
I took him by the hand, led him outside, and showed him the cherries growing on the tree. He still denied it was a cherry tree. He said they must be dogwood berries and were probably poisonous. In frustration, I snagged one from the tree and bit into it. I showed him the inside of the cherry with the pit. I said, “Cherries don’t grow on dogwood trees. This tree is undeniably a cherry tree.”
The black cherries are so tiny I’m forced to use an icepick to stone them. (Stoning a cherry means to remove the pit.) Unfortunately, it looks like Brother Bird has eaten most of the black cherries this year, so I only have a few of them.
The cherry tree in my front produces juicy red cherries. I combine them together to make the perfect cherry jam. If I run short of cherries for a batch, I’m not shy about adding bing cherries from the grocery store. My cherry jam is among the best creation to ever come from my kitchen.
A note on making cherry jam: use Sure-Jell. I learned this the hard way. I used another brand to make jam one year, and I ended up with 16 pints of cherry ice cream topping because it would not set up. Sure-Jell has never let me down.
I’m not certain if I’m going to use all of these gorgous red cherries in jam this year. I may freeze some of them to use in a pie later on. One thing is certain, no matter how I fix them, my home grown cherries are delicous.
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