Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Picking Cherries


As I was freezing artichoke hearts yesterday (which is a bit tedious), my mind went back to memories of processing other produce.  Actually, the most clear memory for me isn't of the canning process, but of the harvesting.

It was a beautiful summer day, and my mom, my sister, my brother, and I drove to a U-Pick cherry farm.  The tree branches hung low, heavy-laden with perfectly ripe, sweet fruit.  We needed no ladders, and all of us picked and picked.  Before long, Mom said we could stop picking.  All of the containers we had brought were filled.  

I was going to take a photo of some cherries to illustrate this post, but cherries were $5.99 a pound and I just couldn't bring myself to buy any.  Why didn't I just take a photo in the store?  It honestly didn't dawn on me until right now.  So, you get to endure my "artwork."  (This is supposed to represent a bucket full of cherries, not a padlock with strange little hearts on top.)


We took the buckets up to the cashier.  We had weighed the empty containers on the way in, so now all that was left to do was to weigh the filled containers, subtract the weight of the buckets, and pay for the cherries.  Who knew that one adult and 3 children could pick one hundred pounds of cherries in such a short period of time?!  

I'm not sure why I don't really remember my mom canning all those cherries, but I know she did--without pitting them first.  (And really, who could blame her? It took long enough, I'm sure, to can 100 pounds of cherries, let alone try to pit all of them.) "Dessert" for the next year or so frequently meant a bowl of cherries, pits included.  I can still taste them, squishy-textured with a dangerously-hard pit in the middle.  Though I'm not a huge fan of canned cherries, the memory makes me smile.  I'll never forget Mom's sheepish grin when she brought home one hundred pounds of cherries! 

Have you ever been the recipient of an especially-large harvest?  What did you do?
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Thanks for sunny days, cheerful helpers, and cherries!

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4 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Looks like you and I went to the same drawing class. :) The story of your drawing is just as funny as your story of 100 pounds of cherries.

    Honestly, 100 pounds!?!? Craziness. I'm impressed that she canned them all, even with the pits.

    We had someone give us a bunch of blueberries upon returning from Michigan. Only 2 people in our family like blueberries, but lots of us like blueberry muffins. I spent a lot of time baking those things for the freezer.

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  2. My Mom canned a lot of things, but I don't remember any cherries. The plums she canned always had the pits in them.

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  3. I remember canning cherries with my mom. They are the easiest to do, just wash them and pop them in the jar. I don't know why people expect them to be pitted. And the juice they produce is heavenly nectar! Canning whole plums is much the same. I just wish I could find free or very low cost fruit to can. All that grows around me is corn and soybeans. Got to get some trees planted in my yard soon! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. If this comment shows up twice please delete one.

    What a great memory! Growing up in Michigan we often went to the berry farm to pick strawberries and at a nearby orchard you could pick apples, peaches and cherries. It is one of the things I miss about Michigan. My mother canned and froze all sorts of crops.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!