Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweet or Sour?

I really like sweet cherries. I always have. And I always thought it would be neat to have a cherry tree, especially after having seen the cherry trees in bloom on the east coast. So I was very excited when we bought the House of 42 Doors. We now live in Zone 5. I've never been thrilled with growing pie cherries. There was always something appealing to me in growing my own Bing cherries, and now finally we can.

But I may have had a change of heart. Our wonderful neighbors to the north have a pie cherry tree and a few weeks ago they offered some to us, with the stipulation that we had to pick them. No problem there. Ms. Huis went over one evening and picked three or four pounds. I didn't know what to do with them, so I did what I always do when I have a cooking question. I went to the Joy of Cooking.

I love that cookbook. It has everything in it, from trivial things like what kind of butter is good to complicated things like how to make beef wellington to bizarre things like how to fix muskrat. Pie cherries were a piece of cake (no pun intended).

I washed, stemmed and pitted the cherries. Then pound for pound, I placed alternate layers of cherries and sugar in a pan. I let it sit for 24 hours covered and then cooked it down and sealed it in jars.

The resulting sauce was exactly like the canned cherries available in the store. But the cherries are wonderfully tart and sweet at the same time. They have tons more flavor than the cherries from the store.

And now I'm torn. Pie cherries or sweet cherries? It's probably good that we don't have more land. I'd want to plant too many fruit trees. After all, why not plant pie cherries AND sweet cherries?

Also we got the quote back for the ceiling. To fix the entire ceiling with a two coat plaster job is $875. With the $300 cash out that the insurance company is offering us and the $60 cost paid to the plumber, that leaves us with a total out of pocket cost of $635 for our little soil pipe issue. I'm still pondering the plaster job though. I'm not sure if I want to spend that much on it.


Ms. Huis Herself said...

Um, you may not want to spend that much, but I'm about tired of having a gaping hole in our kitchen ceiling that dribbles dirt and plaster bits down onto the kitchen floor and shows off the lovely waste pipe.

'Cuz waste pipes ain't exactly appetizing kitchen decor, you know?

And just think - it'll fix the entire needs-fixing-anyway ceiling...

Mr. Kluges said...

Oh come on...Remember HFA at college? It's part of the decor. :)

Ms. Huis Herself said...

Yeah, well, this one isn't painted orange or red or purple or any fun color like that. It's just cast iron - PVC - cast iron.

Not that I'm saying painting it a bright color would make it better... 'cuz it wouldn't. :)

Pusher said...

You know I love you and will support whichever decision you make, but I must say, if you are in zone 5 and choose to plant zone 4 cherries, I may cry a little. (Why yes, I am still trying to convince myself that the black tartian will be fine....)

Though, in the interest of fairness and wanting everyone to have happy gardening experiences, if you're not looking to plant multiple trees, sour cherries are self-pollinating, while if you go with sweet cherries, you would need to plant two. (Your neighbor's sour cherry trees will not cross-pollinate a sweet cherry.)

Mr. Kluges said...

Sweet, sweet cherries...How can I disappoint the pusher? Besides, maybe I can have my cake and eat it too. We'll plant sweet cherries and then exchange them with the neighbors for pie cherries. :)

DiploWhat said...

I think Ms. Huis has the right idea. A cherry swap.

Modesta said...

Thanks for writing this.