We picked and picked and hardly lightened the poor trees' loads - branches laden with ruby-red berries - most of our pickings went into a big bucket that we'd brought for the purpose, but rather a few went directly into our mouths. These were not just cherries. These were plump, juiciful, mouthwateringly delicious cherries - there was much 'mmmmm'ing and head-throwing back in pure pleasure at the taste.
After about an hour, with a bucket overflowing with fruit, we jumped back into the car and headed home.
We had picked more than 10 kilos of cherries!
|quite a lot of cherries|
|whichever way you look at them|
FR and I set to to make some jam to ensure that none would go to waste. However, it was not a smooth operation at all. Problem number one came when we realised that all recipes insisted on using jam sugar, which is high in pectin but we couldn't find any here at our local supermarket - and as it was already after 9pm, there was no time to look elsewhere. Problem number two was that all the same recipes said to stone the cherries first using a cherry stoner as stoning cherries any other way can be extremely messy. We didn't have a cherry stoner. So, with a bit of casual logic, I thought we could cook the cherries first with their stones in, as the stones contained pectin (well, I think they do) and then we could strain the stones out when the cherries had softened.
FR spent about an hour picking all the stones out - it was messy. Horribly messy. I didn't dare enter the kitchen and take a photograph or it could have been even messier. It was, of course, all my fault.
That bit done, we added sugar and lemon juice and set to boiling. One hour passed and no sign of setting. An hour and a half and still no thickening. We definitely lacked pectin. At 2 in the morning, we called it a day and bottled our cherry compote and went to bed.
But I'm so glad we persevered because breakfast this morning......