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.