cherry picking

A few weeks ago, I put my name on the call list for sweet cherries at our local orchard. And then, bit by bit, the sour cherries from our own trees started ripening. My older daughter picked them every couple days and I spent hours in the kitchen pitting the (occasionally) wormy bits of sour. We ended up squirreling away a fair amount. Not a lot, but enough, probably. Maybe we didn’t need to bother with sweet cherries after all? 

But then mid morning on Saturday, we got the call from the orchard: The cherries are ready. Come any time. So we dutifully grabbed containers—not too many so I wouldn’t be tempted to overdo it—and zipped over the back roads to the orchard.

The farmer greeted us. “Want to jump on that picker and I’ll lift you up into the tree?”

We hopped on and up up up we went, the branches, heavy with cherries, hitting us in the face and legs.

The cherries were enormous and perfect and juicy. For nearly 30 minutes, we picked without ever moving from that spot, only stopping when every single container was full.

At one point my son, who, in his cherry-picking enthusiasm, chattered non-stop, shouted, “I got a clunch!” and we burst out laughing. A clunch, we decided, was the wordchild of cluster and bunch

Back home, my husband and older daughter pitted away the rest of the afternoon while I scurried around filling jars (7 quarts) and freezer boxes (9 quarts), and making a sweet cherry pie and a batch of roasted cherry vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

Yummy, yum-yum.

(And hip-hip-hip,
Because now we’re all done.)

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (6.20.16), walking through water, refried beans, orange cranberry scones, sour cherry crostatas.


  • Alysha in Seattle

    Oh my word that ice cream looks so amazing! Have always loved your zeal for cooking and make quite a few things you've posted over the years. This cherry ice cream will be next. I need to use what we have on our ancient urban backyard cherry tree!

  • GeorgiaHoneyBee

    That looks like so much fun! I wish we could have cherry trees in Georgia – they sell them, but we do not have the weather for them to produce fruit. I really enjoy your blog too – and I am so happy when you write about things like this. Thank you for spending so much time on your writing. I am praying for safe travels for your son.

  • Cheryl McDonald

    Jennifer I have followed your blog for several years but I am a quiet type and don't often say much. But I have to tell you how much I enjoy your blog and how delicious that ice cream looks. I found out about you from my son and daughter-in-law, Kelly and Tammie.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Hello, Cheryl! I'm glad you spoke up—I love "meeting" my readers. And Kelly and Tammie are some of the best!

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