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Cherry Season at My House

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.

There’s a funny story about my cherry trees. There is a large tree in our back yard just outside our bedroom window. It was there when we bought the house, and the man who previously owned the house told my husband it was a pink dogwood. He took him at his word, and I didn’t care to take a good look for a long time. All I cared about was there was a tree next to the window, which gave me some shade.

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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