There seems to be no victim.
All that has been left behind is this tableau on the kitchen counter.
Yeah, we've already established that I'm a whirling dervish in the kitchen and nothing comes from my kitchen without the accompanying mayhem that I can't seem to avoid. It really does look as if a crime has been committed in my cuisine. That's because I spent this past rainy weekend trying to
eliminate transform my freshly picked 18 1/2 pounds of cherries into....well, into cherry liqueur, alchohalised cherries, cherry preserves and a dismal attempt at clafoutis.
Thursday I was invited to my friend Saro's house to celebrate Claire's (my friend and her daughter) birthday. The event coincided with cherry picking time and Saro's trees were full.
I arrived with a giant, empty basket, mostly as a joke. I left with this.
Then began the messy (for me) job of what to do with all this delicious, exquisite fruit. I was suffering from a permanent stomachache from eating so many straight off the tree so I made a list of everything I wanted to make, bought all that was necessary to get the job done...including this fabulous device that pits cherries at the speed of light....and settled in for the weekend.
I started with Cherry Liqueur, recipe courtesy of my friend Marcia.
1 1/2 lbs red cherries, with pits,no stems
1 1/2-2 cups sugar, sweeten to taste
2 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup brandy
Mix vodka, brandy and sugar in a large glass measure or medium mixing bowl; stir well to dissolve. Cut each washed cherry slightly to open, leave in pits. Place cherries in two sterile, quart wide mouth jars or one larger aging container. Pour liquid mixture over cherries; stir and cap with tight lids. For the first two weeks, shake jars several times. Let age in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months for best flavor. Strain off liqueur through a wire mesh strainer and discard cherries. Re bottle as desired. Liqueur is ready in 3 months
Next, following the theme, which seems to be cherries AND alcohol, I made
Cerises à l'Eau de Vie
This recipe came from Monica...I adore the videos she makes with her grandson. And her hands.
They remind me of my grandmother's hands.
I can't wait to bite into one of these potent little morsels when they're ready...in about 6 months!
Still more cherries so I moved on to Cherry Preserves, thank you David Lebovitz, and since there was a little Brandy left over and since this was theme weekend, I added that to the jam.
I'm not even going to talk about the miserably failed clafoutis. Perhaps I should put in a call to Monica to learn how to REALLY make this traditional french dessert.
And then....and then...the cherries were all gone. How can this be? I still want to make Cherry Compote, Cherry Crumble, Pickled Cherries and more jam. None of which include alcohol, by the way. Luckily Saro called and said we have to come back. They've picked and eaten, picked and frozen, picked and given away, and the trees still have fruit to offer. So as soon as the rain lets up, I'm on my way back with my empty basket. And hopefully I'll get to spend another weekend in the kitchen. I'll try, I'll really try, to do it more neatly this time!