While both our girls were here canning with me, on this day, it is strange that there are no pictures of them… I’m guessing they had their PJs on already!
I am so glad I passed on the knowledge of canning, to my girls and that they proudly do it! Woo Hoo for being publicly acknowledged for it Krystal!
Seems like just yesterday the cherries trees were in bloom.
But that was back in April. After 2 solid weeks of temps in the 70s and 80s in March, blooms came much sooner than the last frost. With every frost, more blooms were lost, meaning fewer cherries survived. You may not know it but Michigan produces 75% of the nations tart cherries, those used in pies, cherry juice for their anti-inflammatory benefits, cough syrups and many other food products. We also produce 20% of the sweet cherries and rank #3 in apple production in the nation. You can thank me when that helps you with a Jeopardy question, LOL.
This early bloom caused production to be way down. Prices are up, but what is summer, in Michigan, without at least a few cherries coming through the front door??
It may be Chery Festival in Traverse City, but this is cherry week for us!
First up: Maraschino Cherries
Pitting them doesn’t have to be the pits.
You gotta have this pitter. It is the best cherry pitter ever and I’m not the only one to think so. Yes, it still leaves an occasional pit, be careful and yes, when the cherries are this juicy you still need to wear an apron, but it is so much more effective than any other pitter I’ve ever tried. And being from cherry country, we’ve tried most of them.
And to think you can have such a dark, rich, cherry color without any artificial coloring!
Have you seen these Ball brand dissolvable labels? They disappear after running them through the dishwasher. No more label stickers stuck on last years’ jars! Thanks Krystal, I had not seen these, yet!
We used Eve’s recipe, for these cherries, from her The Garden of Eating blog. Though we used a scale and measuring cup, neither measured quite right for us! We needed to use a lot more cherries to fill our jars. We ended up using twice as many cherries as we had planned on. Just cook up as many cherries as you can afford and make up enough liquid to cover them and you should be good! It is a very flexible recipe. We ended up with an extra pint of cherry juice which we canned, also. Perfect for making a cherry limeade or a cherry coke. Not to mention a Mai Tai! And don’t even think about not using the almond extract. It is a must! Who knew but that is what gives maraschino cherries the taste we know and love?!!