Today I picked cherries! Fifteen pounds, cleaned, pitted & bagged to be exact! I was very inspired by the Lazy Homesteader’s last post about drying cherries. Tuesday I helped mom can her Shelley’s Jelly Cherry Jam. She had enough cherries to make 6 dozen half pints of it! So anyways, I was out in the garden picking peas & Devon had the sharp eyes to spot some leftover cherries on the tree. I was so excited about the dried cherries thing I asked mom if I could pick the rest of the cherries on the tree. She mentioned that the neighbor across the street has a tree that they never pick. She said I should go across the street & pick their tree. So I DID!
I started picking some of the lower branches & again, Devon had the brilliant idea to grab the step ladder for me (he is SO considerate, he even went & grabbed it for me!) so we could reach the upper branches. I picked, picked, picked for quite a while. By the time I was done I had about half the bucket filled.
Since I’m a little new at this I needed my mom to help me through preparing them. I want to dry some but I also want to freeze some so we decided the best thing to do would be to wash & pit them, then stick them in the freezer. I am going to buy a dehydrator (I have ALWAYS wanted one but it’s not in the budget forecast until early next week – too long to let them sit out) so I needed them to remain whole.
Mom helped me pit them (THANK YOU 🙂 & between the two of us it only took a few hours. We pitted them & separated them into bags of 4 cups, or 32 ounces, or 2 pounds, or 2 pints. As soon as the bags were filled we stuck them in the freezer to keep them as fresh as possible.
Once everything was cleaned, pitted & bagged, I ended up with 6 bags filled with 4 cups each, plus one bag of 1 3/4 cups, plus about 2 pounds of questionable cherries I may or may not use.
Stay tuned for my first experiment in drying fruit. . .