Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cherries Are the Bomb

Cherry season is barreling toward its conclusion. I always worry that cherries might not even last until the Fourth of July, a time when cherry bombs are required.
Naturally, the thing to do is stuff yourself silly with the juicy, drippy bomblets. Now.
Already there have been many furtive grab'n'gulps straight from the fridge. I'm planning on grazing on a little Fatted Calf bresaola accompaned by cherries and apriums, maybe this evening.
But I got to wondering. What if I saved some cherries for later? No, not until they turn moldy. I mean, try to preserve some.
Here's what got me on the topic. I've recently finished Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and there was a simple, but intensely telling, little line about dealing with her garden's sudden summer bounty, which needed to be saved for winter: "The dehydrator was running 24/7."
Of course! First of all, if you're going to all the trouble to grow your own food, you're a fool if you let it go to waste. I understand that. Second, though, I hadn't thought about dehydrating food until a little later in the season. You know, when the bounty's out of control.
Cherries. They're in season now. Hate to see them go.
So I saved some.


Dagny said...

Now I've got Rainiers on the mind. Thanks. ;-) Maybe it's time to head out to Brentwood.

Jennifer Jeffrey said...

And that's all you're going to tell us? *gasp* How, pray tell, did you do the saving?

kudzu said...

Whar about -----------brandied cherries? And, by the way, I came across (by serendipity) a recipe for chocolate cake made with beets. Want it?

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny: Raniers are good. In brandy. Oh! And these Bings are from Brentwood. I have got to make a trip out there.

Jennifer: I wasn't being coy. I thought it was obvious I dehydrated them. But, see, I'm all lazy about canning. And, yet. See Kudzu's comment... Easy.

Kudzu: Nice. These, though, in this incarnation, are like gummy bears. No booze. For the kids, right?
(I'm crazy about your chocolate beet cake recipe! I think you've totally figured out what a nut I am, food-wise. So, yes! I want it.)

Jennifer Maiser said...

Does this mean I need to get a dehydrator? Maybe I can do it in the oven.

Hi - I miss you! We need to catch up.

shuna fish lydon said...

pitting and freezing is also a good idea. it stops them from oxidizing.

and all those pits can also be frozen. or smashed and then frozen.

for a small shot of poison before bed.

or amazing ice cream.

Stacie said...

the happiest 3 weeks of the year!! and at, what $8 a pound for dried cherries, that is a capital idea!!

El said...

Whose sweet baby cup is that?

We're weeks from cherries yet, though strawberry season is nearly upon us. I am really glad for all the pigging out we do when things're in season. I make cherry preserves, m'self. Good on toast, better over ice cream.

Sam said...

I was just given that book as a present. You have bresaola? We have run out. Big German guy came round and ate it all. (well, we helped him)

does the dehydrator have a carbon footprint?

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Jen: Yeah, we're due for a date. No, you probably shouldn't get a dehydrator until you test your oven. I dried some mushrooms fairly successfully in my (previous) oven, where the temperature wouldn't go below 170ยบ. You gotta keep an eye on em. Sliced mushrooms probably would just cook; I dried mine whole (sans stem). Try it out.

Shuna: Ack! I threw the pits away. I didn't know they had any magic in them.

Stacie: I'm not getting even close to a pound. It was $5 for a quart, fresh, and the dried output is -- cup your two hands; they'd fit in there. Maybe you're getting a better deal.

El: Aw... It's Cranky's baby cup. Tarnished with age, just like he is. (He told me to say that.)
Cherry preserves sounds dreamy. But with dehydration, I don't have to add any sugar.

Sam: I'm shepherding the bresaola. (Thanks to you for alerting me to it.) It's so deep, I can only eat a slice or two at a time.
So -- yeah. Carbon footprint. I feel foolish now, because that sucker is running, to quote Kingsolver, 24/7. It's electric.
I might figure out a pest-proof way to sun dry. It's very breezy where I live now, and that would be a helpful drying agent.

Monkey Wrangler said...

I thought Cookies were the bomb........I mean, you're the bomb, so........

Dried cherry and chocochip cookies!

And them mater's are looking like you're getting some nice fruit set. (See, they are fruit; we don't call it "vegetable set" now do we?)

dancingmorganmouse said...

Cherries, mmm, my grandparents used to pick them and always sent us a box for xmas (summer down under) my mum would always keep at least some, preserving them in brandy. We'd eat them through the year with icecream and, when over 18, would get to sip the brandy too - faborama. I may have to give it a go myself, come summertime.

Susan Cosier said...

I would love to know more about the dehydration process and your interest in local eating for an article I'm writing. Write me an email if you're free to talk.

cookiecrumb said...

MW: Oh, yeah, I'm the bomb. BTW, your gift of home-sprouted tomato plants is roaring! We have one or two little Romas on the vine, and the Brandywines are lush and ready to fruit. Fruit. :)

DMM: It's so much fun for me to keep remembering you're in fall now, not spring. Should I send you some dried cherries?

Susan: Forgive my absence. I will e-mail you. How nice of you to contact me.