Tag Archive for cherry

On Cherries

cherry orchard, June-07-11 007

I first encountered really fresh cherries when I was 15 – a defining age to meet a flat of just picked sun-gorged brilliant cherries, I can tell you. On the tropical island where I grew up, cherries do not fruit – they grow, but without a cold dormancy period, they do not fruit. Papayas, mangoes, longans, cherymoyas, pineapple, yes. But cherries are an exotic expensive luxury that travels a long way to get to Reunion Island – like litchis in Virginia. So I was 15, my family was living in Provence for year, and Provence has wonderful cherries. I was hooked. Read more

Sour Cherry Ice-Cream Without An Ice-Cream Maker

I do not recommend trying to make ice-cream at a 4-H Camp without an ice-cream maker, without electricity, in 90 ° F weather (32 C) and in 20 minutes. It just does.not.work.  The kids were good sports about tossing or shaking leaky bags full of ice, but it was a complete failure. They were also very good sports about the eating the “milk shake”; at least there were roasted bananas and cherries to go with that… sigh…

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But you can make ice-cream without an ice-cream maker -  and pretty decent ones at that. Read more

Le Temps Des Cerises

It’s sour cherry time – or rather, sour cherries are just over here in the Virginia Piedmont. A kind cherry tree owner offered me their tree to pick, and I gratefully enjoyed the privilege. But as the garden is going gangbusters (with  planting, harvesting, cleaning and maintaining – ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!), I have little time to write down recipes, so photos is all we get. Maybe I’ll scribble down some of the recipes in the next few posts…

When sour cherries are in season, one rushes to pick, pick, pick and then pit, pit, pit and process. Because the season is very brief: on Memorial day they are blushing, on June 15, they are over!

So what to do with sour cherries:

- pit them, toss them with sugar, other berries and enjoy as a sweet-tart refreshing dessert

- pit and freeze for later use

- sour cherry preserves

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Fragile Promises

Cherry blossoms in early April are incredibly lovely, aren’t they? and incredibly fragile. They open their snowy petals for pollinators to do their jobs when the chance of freeze or frost is still real and so one wonders: is this too early? will a frost come and wipe out this year’s crop? or will they survive and turn into Bing? Royal Ann? Somerset? Lapins? Viscount? Will it be sorrow and frustration or will it be joy and good picking?

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On April 4, Garrick Giebel and Ann Grenade opened their hilltop cherry orchard – aptly named “Cherries-on-Top” – in Flint Hill, VA for Rappahannock’s own little cherry blossom festival as well as for people to meet them, the new orchard owners.

You see, Garrick and Ann did not mean to operate a cherry orchard. The property went to the market in 2007, following the accidental death of its prior owner. The pair bought in 2008 for its incomparable views. It came with 800 cherry trees. Read more