Life’s a bowl of cherries

No kidding. I am being haunted by these cherries. They are in my house, near my house, on the sidewalk in front of my house, being tracked into the house, being pilfered and thrown by neighbourhood children and stolen by little old men and women with bowls under cover of darkness. (Not that I mind…they can have as many of the little red orbs from hell as they want, but if you want to steal cherries, and you come at night so that I won’t know you are there, try not to have a loud argument in Ukrainian two feet from my window, it blows your cover )
The cherry situation resolved a little when I discovered that I can pit cherries with a 2mm needle. I believe that this act tricked the most basic, instinctive parts of my brain into thinking that I was doing something to do with knitting, thereby making the pitting process at least only mind-numbingly stupid, not torturous.
Cherries pitted, there only remained the problem of what to do with several pounds of pitted cherries. Answer?
Mmmm….the first aran sleeve and Cherry Upside-Down Cake. This yarn and the cake are both heartily recommended, enough so, that the burning pain of pitting a thousand cherries sort of started to seem like maybe it was worth it. Sure, that twitch over my eye is back again, but now I’ve got nice knitting and good cake. This combination restores my spirit and I wander back into the kitchen and attack the remaining pounds of cherries. (I am troubled briefly by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be less cherries, I mean I was just in here, I took a whole whack of them out of the bowl…shouldn’t there be fewer cherries?) I make…
The second Aran sleeve and Cherry Bars. These are good, but not as good as the cake. Actually, that’s not fair. It could be, that if I had tried the cherry bars before gorging on several pieces of Upside down cake, and pitting all those cherries and sweeping the suicidal ones off of the sidewalk, and generally wishing for sweet release from the cherry nightmare that has conumed my life, that I might have had a more positive attitude toward the Cherry bars and cherries in general. I admit that at this point I have inexplicably begun to call this little sweater the “Cherry Aran”, even though it is not cherry coloured, or has cherry motifs or even bobbles or something you could interpret as cherry-inspired. No, no, it is guilty by association. When the cherry bars were baked (and not eaten) I went back into the kitchen to try to deal with the remaining pitted and waiting cherries. I will confess at this point that I suspect Joe of picking and pitting cherries secretly to replace the ones that I used up in these marathon baking sessions. The other alternative is that the bowl of cherries is bottomless, which is too horrible to even contemplate.
I decide to switch tactics.
What cherries?
Damn straight. I’ve begun the back of the Cherry aran, and heartlessly thrust the remaining pitted cherries into ziplocks (in amount appropriate for upside-down cake) and shoved them into the freezer. I’m sure that when the memory of cherry overload fades I’ll feel like eating them again. Seriously, I picked several pounds and gave them away, then I picked several pounds and baked and froze them, plus I was ripped of my neighbours, not to mention the tons that have been eaten by local wildlife, including the kid down the street who has been using them for “ammo” for several days. You would think that the end would be in sight.
Not even close. Here’s Sam as of 10am this morning. I’m going to look away, I’m going to avert my eyes. I’m going to sit down with the little Cherry Aran and not speak of this for some time. What’s wrong with a little good old fashioned repression? What?

24 thoughts on “Life’s a bowl of cherries

  1. I love cherries almost more than chocolate, and have been known to have a big bowl of cherries as the main course of dinner! But I don’t think I’d enjoy pitting them either. What about cherry pie, my mom used to make that when I was a kid, and it was to die for!

  2. When cherry pitting became the pits, here’s what my Mom would do.
    Stick all the cherries in a big pot. Add a bit of water. Bring to a boil then simmer till the cherries are soft and squishy. Put the mess in a big sieve (only half fill the sieve at a time, or if you have one of those old cone shaped colander thingys with the wooden squisher so much the better)Mush through as much of the cherry goop as you can. the pits stay behind. You now have nice cherry mush for jam, pudding sauce or whatever. If you are as thrifty as my Mom, you take the stones and mess from the sieve, put it back on the stove with more water, boil and simmer, strain, add sugar, boil again and have cherry pancake syrup. None of this involves pitting.
    I think you should continue to call it the “cherry aran”. When people ask why it is named that, you look at them like they’re crazy and say, “well, isn’t obvious?” then sniff and walk away.
    Barb B.

  3. I like the jam idea. Make it freezer jam and it’s even easier. Though what you would do with hundreds of jars of cherry jam is beyond me. On second thought, the beer may be the best idea. Leave the cherries on the tree; the birds need to eat something, right??

  4. Repression is the only answer, obviously. Along with perhaps more beer/wine/any other liquor other than Kirsch Lik�r or cherry beer… hey, gift a brewer with the cherries and sit back and wait for the output…

  5. Oh, for goodness sake, Stephanie. You aren’t leaving the cherries alone are you? In a bowl, all naked and rolling around on each other?
    Clearly, they are breeding when unsupervised, and the only solution is to fashion little knitted slingshots, with which to fire the cherries – one at a time – at the Ukranian arguers, and the neighborhood children.
    Otherwise, you may never be able to knit a bobble again without fear of thinking of cherries.

  6. Stephanie,
    You are priceless. Erma Bombeck has nothing on you. I say make some cherry wine. I have no idea how to do it, but the resourceful Harlot is sure to think of a way.

  7. I looked all over for a recipe for Cherry Beer, but instead found this one (The Countess at Newport’s Cherry Wine) at :
    Pick the best cherries free from rotten, and
    pick the stalks from them; put them into an
    earthen Pan. Bruise them, by griping and
    straining them in your hands, and let them
    stand all night; on the next day strain them
    out (through a Napkin, which if it be a
    course and thin one, let the juyce run
    through a Hippocras or gelly bag, upon a
    pound of fine pure Sugar in powder, to every
    Gallon of juyce) and to every gallon put a
    pound of Sugar, and put it into a vessel. Be
    sure your vessel be full, or your wine will
    be spoiled; and in every bottle you must put
    a lump (a piece as big as a Nutmeg) of Sugar.
    The vessel must not be stopt until it hath
    done working.
    (And the Aran is lovely looking… Is this the handspun??)

  8. Is that the Must Have Cardi? It must be. I finished mine, but I knitted the buttonband too tight and now I have to rip it . I love the pattern, though it’s not really a challenge for you. Nice work with you new pitter – very clever.

  9. Here is a question to take your mind off the cherries (if only for a brief moment): What is that beautiful tile behind the bowl of cherries in that first photo?

  10. mmm…If I had cherries like that, I’d be making cordials.
    Freeze cherries. (this breaks down cell walls)
    Thaw cherries.
    Mush cherries.
    Put cherries in a jar and cover with vodka. Add some lemon zest. cover jar and put in dark place.
    couple of months later….
    Strain cherry/vodka mush through coffee filters. Add sugar syrup mixture and bottle.

  11. oohhh… cherry cordial. …drool…
    And, I almost lost it about the Ukranian argument. That’s just hilarious!

  12. oh oh i got it!how about cherry wine?? or even better..chocolate covered cherries mmmm.and really stop teasing us with cherries already,just invite us all over and we eat ’em up for ya!

  13. Kirseb�rlik�r
    Rinse cherries and drain.
    Fill a 1 liter canning jar half full of cherries.
    Fill the jar up to 3-4 cm from the top with sugar
    Pour in 45% alcohol (this was where it was nice to know a teetotalling dentist – they had a quota from the state monopoly) until the sugar is completely covered.
    Cover tightly.
    Shake the jar until everything is well mixed and the sugar begins to dissolve.
    Let this concoction stand at room temperature until some time in December, turning the jar a couple of times a day.
    Strain the liqueur off and bottle it.
    Eat the berries for dessert with whipped cream or over ice cream or fromage.
    And if you are a basic Norwegian, the final step is apparently sucking on the stones.
    This is the basic version – the citified version pits at least half the cherries and adds 8 – 10 cloves and a cinnamon stick – it also weighs the cherries and the sugar.

  14. Lovely start to the sweater, cherry or otherwise. i’m sure the Dublins are crying in their prison!!! And just for the record, you’re the one that has inspired me to finish my abandoned and rejected-for-flashier projects. Now what am I to do? While your nightmares probably feature cherries, mine featured the the abandoned knitting and tauntings by my acquisitions from the Fleece Artist. I dare not start a new creation until ALL others are done. Talk about punishment!!!
    So about those frozen cherries: does that mean that the sewing up party will be fortified by baked cherry goodies??

  15. I’ll be right over, just say the word. And then I’ll bake the cherry pies for the sewing party?! ( I did not like cherry pie until I baked one from scratch. Perhaps that’s why you are hesitating on the pie front, a bad expereince with that glutaneous muck that is often passed off for filling???)

  16. Dried cherries won’t take up room in your freezer and will taste yummy in oatmeal when January rolls around. I pay almost $6 for 8 oz. of dried cherries in the winter. (Sour cherries are supposed to have a some compound that is beneficial for arthritis pain….there’s a study out of Michigan State U.)

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