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    Oxo Good Grips Small Wooden Spoon

    everyone needs these, many of them.

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    Mauviel Cuprinox Style 8-inch Round Frying Pan

    Scarily, I can say I have enough copper. Not many people can utter those words.

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    Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Red
    Le Creuset

    The same thing could be said for Le Creuset, but still. Great for braising and soup making.

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    The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century
    by Amanda Hesser
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    Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet, 13 X 18 X 1
    Nordic Ware

    What did I do before I started using this half sheet? Cry.

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Entries in cherries (3)


Glace Cherries - Don't bother (the last cherry post, I promise)

Two weeks of glacée and bollocks #cherrygram


I spent the last 14 days in a futile attempt to glace cherries so that I would have FANCY cherries for some occasion that I would make up, just to use the cherries.

I tried it with frozen pie cherries. They lack the lovely translucent quality as seen in a few earlier post.

At least I have my refrigerator back and some really awesome sour cherry syrup to go on top of the faloodeh that I will eventually share with you.




Pickled Cherries - its that time again

Tree of life

It's that time again - the freezer needs to be emptied of all the fruit preserved from the year that has passed.  Smoothies are being consumed at great speed and I really will get around to making a few pies this week. Unlike other years, I did not succumb to the 40 lb box of sour cherries but will only take four lbs from someone's huge shipment.


More of this nonsense #pickledcherries @sfn8tiv

A few years ago, I pickled some plums. I loved them. Sweet and tart and perfect with a ham or pork dish, they were also so pretty in a relish tray along with dilled beans and those exotics that come out with Aunt Maude's silver service.

Pickled fruit should not be a white tablecloth and silver candlesticks kind of a condiment that come out only for special occasions. They should appear at impromptu picnics with Mexican blankets and melmac plates. 

The pickled cherries are easy and quick to make. The pickling process is trivially easy. Because they are not processed in a hot water bath, they will need to be refrigerated for storage. I haven't seen a good recipe for hot water processing them, probably because they are so delicate to begin with and the heat might cause them to lose their shape. 

 Finished product #pickledcherries #picklegram @sfn8tiv

Quick Pickled Sour Cherries (adapted from David Lebovitz and others)
Makes one pt jar and one 8 oz jar, or three eight oz jar. (You do the math for the rest of the combinations)

Note: Left over picking brine/syrup should be combined with cherry juice, and used for a nice lively shrub - a fruit drinking vinegar hack that I like to dilute with club soda.  Try it and tell me what you think.

1 lb pitted sour cherries, I used frozen (reserve juice if frozen)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar (I used organic, unprocessed)
2/3 cup water
3 bay leaves
20 whole peppercorns
10 whole allspice

Prepare jar or jars - I use 8 oz canning jars by washing well with soap and water and hold in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes or longer to sterilize.  Place vinegar, water, sugar in a non-reactive pot and bring mixture to a boil.  Remove from heat and add spices and bay leaves. 

Pack cherries into jar or jars, pour liquid into jars, add one bay leaf to each jar. Be sure to leave 1/2" headspace at the top of the jar.  Seal each jar with a clean and sterlized lid and ring. Place in fridge to cure.  The pickling process should be completed in a week and should hold for a year in fridge. Open jars should also be refrigerated.

Use leftover brine to make a nice drinking vinegar (see note above).

Serve with ham, cheeses, a crusty baguette, a nice dry white and a side of ants.


Reaping the bounty of pie cherries - making homemade maraschino cherries 


Life is a bowl of cherries - pits and all.  Be thankful for what you have.  #truth #thegarden #blessing #stonefruitsofinstagram #cherrygram

I knew TH was the girl for me when I opened up her kitchen drawer and found a well worn cherry pitter. Over the years we have had several cherry trees grow, some die, but most bear amazing fruit. One of the trees that was labeled dwarf at the nursery is now 20 feet tall and we can only get a few of the low hanging branches.  The rest go to the care and feeding of the crows.

Our pie cherry tree is finally bearing fruit. It is still small, but this year was festooned with beautiful little pie cherries, the ones that really do look like the color of Jolly Rancher candies.  TH netted the tree to keep the sparrows off the ripening fruit and last night, I picked all the fruit - one precious pint.

Iranians love cherries in rice dishes and refreshing sharbats (fizzy water drinks flavored with fruit syrups).  However, my mother argues that the pie cherries here are not the right ones.  Iranians love Morello cherries and those are not seen in residential nurseries as much as the more commonly grown Montmorency.  

When I was growing up, my parents would fill up the car with blankets, a hot pot of tea, some cheese, bread, herbs and cold meatballs and drive North to Mount Baker, Washington where they had finally located the correct type of cherry.  The owner of the orchard graciously allowed my parents and their friends to picnic on the grounds and go out and pick pounds and pounds of Morello cherries.  They would return to home laughing and joking about their day. They would later doled out their cherries to friends who weren't able to join them. The moms would  start the process of making jam and syrups for the following years dishes.

As a teenager, I always avoided going with my parents.  It was too boring, or I used the excuse of the Monday test.  Today I wish I had gone with them. The orchards have most likely been redeveloped into a strip mall, however the memories remain.

Last year I split a bottle of Luxardo liqueur with my friend Paola, to make maraschino cherries. I didn't get around to it, so I used this tiny stash to try the recipe.  I wanted to keep the stem intact, so I had to figure out a way to pit the cherry and keep the stem.  I figured it out, while they are not pretty, I think they will be tasty.


LuxardoBoozing. It. Up. @clarkbar @goodappetite #preservelocal

            The real deal.                                                                    Maceration Nation.


The recipe is simple, step by step I used Melissa Clark's method, but I did sterilize my jars and lids.  While these will remain refrigerated, its good sanitary practice.

Canned. Stuff.

                                                                 The final product.


Good Appetite's Maraschino Cherries, from the NYT Food Section, July 2007

1 cup Luxardo liqueur
1 pt fresh pie cherries (Morello if you can get them), pitted and if you are a rock star, leave the stem intact
2 or 3 8 oz mason jars
2 or 3 new lids and rings

Wash lids and rings and jars in hot soapy water, rinse well and place in preheated 250 degree oven for 15 minutes to sterlize.  They can be held at temperature for longer if necessary.

Place liqueur in stainless steel or non-reactive pan and bring to a simmer. Add cherries and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Pour into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, place lid on jar, screw on ring and place in fridge to macerate.Leave for at least two days before tasting.

Should make 2 to 3 8 oz jars to keep or give away.

I'm going to try mine with some chocolate ice cream and whipped cream and with a Manhattan on the side.