Thursday, May 12, 2011


I really love cherries and last year when the cherries were one day before being perfect they were all eaten by birds and ants.  I vowed this year would be different.  I didn't put netting on the trees although I do have it.  I figured with the dogs running around perhaps they'd stay away.  I did wrap duck tape around the trees.  I put the sticky side out and figured if something wanted to climb up the trees they would not have an easy time of it. 

It all worked.  I have more cherries than I've ever had.  Wait, last year I ate four or five cherries before the birds and ants got the rest.  This week we have all stood out at the three trees (a fourth has no cherries this year) and just gorged ourselves on cherries.  I also picked enough cherries to make cherry jam.  We also have enough to dry.  I'm excited because we've never had that many.  I've had friends who've let me pick their trees but this is the first real good crop from these trees. 

I've found a couple ways to dry them.  Sun drying them isn't going to work.  You need hot days and cherries are all ripe and off the trees when it's in the heat of summer.  If we were going through a hot spell I'd try it.  I'd rather dry with the sun then use electricity any day.  Instead we will dry them in the dehydrator.  I have an Excalibur that I bought in 1979!  It's still going strong, although the nylon trays are yellowing and starting the crack. 

Here's the recipe for dried cherries:  Wash the cherries.  Cut them in half and remove stem and pit.  Place the cherries, skin side down (cut side up), in single layers on the tray.  Dry at about 140° for 6-12 hours.  Figure about six hours if one tray, 7 hours for two trays, 8 hours for three trays, etc.  Don't over dry them.  They should be leathery and slightly sticky.  After they are dry I store them in Ziploc sandwich bags.  I then store a bunch of smaller bags into a gallon bag. 

You can eat them as is, like raisins or currants.  Or, if you want you can reconstitute them and make a pie.  Here's how to make cherry pie from dried cherries:  3 cups dried cherries, 3 cups boiling water, ½ cup flour, 1 cup sugar.  Cover the cherries with the boiling water.  Let soak about 30 minutes.  Simmer and add the sugar and flour to thicken.  Pour into a pie crust and add a top crust.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. 

Why am I writing about recipes?  If IT is today, then you need to be more self sufficient.  Even if you don't have cherries to put up, just knowing that storing food can really be this easy can bring don't your anxiety level a bit. 

Good eating!

No comments:

Post a Comment