Cherry ripe, cherry ripe, ripe I cry
This year the cherries are really sweet and juicy. Cherry jam on home made bread - my favourite breakfast (at the moment). Yesterday I made more jam with my last cherry harvest of 2015. I have a large bag frozen for making summer desserts to share with family and friends throughout the summer ( and beyond) as well as my pots of jam. I don't pick them too early as I like them when they are a bit riper and turning a deep purple colour. I don't pick too many at a time as I want to process them at their freshest. We once had some helpxers (travellers who work in exchange for food and lodging) working with us at our last house. One of them decided that we were going to lose all our cherries to the birds and so without speaking to me she organised the others to harvest as many as they could. I got back from shopping to find the kitchen table groaning with cherries - I just couldn't make that much jam or have freezer space for that many cherries and we had to throw lots away.
In our early days here I asked a neighbour how he protected his cherry crop from the birds and he replied that there were enough cherries for him and the birds. I still hadn't got used to having so much fruit ripe for the picking and wanted to save as much of that cherry harvest for us to eat. I learned after only one season that my neighbour is right and now I take my share and leave the rest for the birds.
So I am looking forward to lots of cherry treats in the months ahead - my favourites are:
Chocolate cake and hot cherry sauce
Cherry ice cream
Hot cherries with cream
They are our first fruit of the year and my favourite but the good news is there are more fruits are on their way!