Season’s first harvest

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2016Cherries2

1.5 pounds tart cherries

I guess most people, before departing on an adventure, don’t worry about harvesting their cherries, but this is a big container of my yield from the bush in front. (You can also see a few serviceberries in this photo.)  I got just over 2 pounds. I’m not normally a fan of single-use kitchen tools like asparagus-peelers, but the exception is definitely my cherry-pitter.  I used a chopstick for the tiniest of the cherries, but the rest of the 2+ pounds was all that most excellent pitter, and the whole crop took less than an hour to prepare.  I’ll freeze these guys, either for pie or for wine, depending on how good the yield from my tree in the back– its fruit is still pale and just starting to blush.

MoreCherries

More cherries

The birds may get to the fruit before we get back, though both the tree and the bush are tart, which birds apparently like less than sweet.  My elderberry trees are in blossom, too, which is very exciting.  I’m going to give them a good, deep watering tonight.

Elderflower

Elderflowers

 

Peaches

2016 peaches

In addition to the freezer cherries, I’ve also put some up in rum.

2016Cherries

2016 Rumtopf cherries

We really enjoyed our rumtopf last year, so it seems worthwhile to make again! I hope to get other fruit to add, as well.  My peaches seem to be coming along (fingers crossed), and the redcuarrants too, so hopefully we’ll have an excellent rumtopf this year.  Blueberries are not recommended in rumtopf, so I’ve decided to keep the serviceberries out– they’re fairly similar, and I don’t want to risk ruining the whole batch.  I suspect, though, that all they would do is turn everything a terrible color, since blackberries also make the “not recommended” list.  (Citrus and rhubarb, too, but those I’m sure just suffer in the preservation.)  Hope we get some strawberries!  They’d be nice in the mix, as well.  I am, however, leaving them, the tomato, the jalapeno, and the lemon & lime to Mom while we’re away, so I’m not sure how things will fare.   Mom’s better with indoor plants, and since everything is in pots this year, they need a lot of water.  I guess time will tell!  (And I really can’t complain about anything, since we have a free house-sitter and pet-sitter rolled into one in Mom.)

Jolyon got me an excellent book, Preserving the Japanese Way, for my birthday, and I really want to try my hand at homemade miso and sake, but I will have to wait until after we get back.  Miso is apparently something you start in early spring anyway.  Funny that, in all my wine-making, sake never occurred to me.  It actually looks pretty straightforward, though with more steps than wine, and I’ll have to find a source of rice koji.  There’s no particular information on how long the fermentation should take, but it sounds like it’s maybe just a couple weeks.  There’s even an amazake recipe, which will be brilliant to have in winter.

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