Spiced Cherries

I don’t remember eating a lot of cherries growing up. My parents, who may eventually read this post, may disagree and correct my memory on this, but in my own mind right now I look back and don’t associate eating cherries with growing up in Ontario. I associate cherries with eventually coming to live in BC, and BC summers.

Years ago we rented an apartment in the top floor of a house in Victoria and co-shared a cherry tree in our backyard with our downstairs-living neighbours. I remember that we were mad that they picked the cherry tree clean before we could get many, or at least “our share”! So cherries, for me, have always been something of a precious fruit, something that’s only available at this time of year. Something amazing.

I would say that cherries are right up there with peaches for being my favourite fruits. While in some ways it’s sad that we only eat cherries in the summer here, the year-long waiting period before we have them again makes getting them back into our hands all that much sweeter. Cherries right now are being sold in grocery stores, but they’re also being sold on the roadside. We have a couple that sometimes set up a stand on a highway near our town and sell cherries from the Okanagan. I don’t think cherries are ready here on Vancouver Island yet, but they’re available in the interior. And I’m so glad they are.

Of course Marisa made these spiced cherries first. I have come to love her Facebook Live events and even marked my calendar every other Monday evening so that I could watch them as they happen (so much better than watching after the fact).  She made these cherries just over two weeks ago, and right away I knew I wanted to make them too. (She’s a clever lady, always making things that I’ve never made before…and then I want to add to my repertoire and do them too!)

In order to make these cherries I had to get a cherry pitter. I’ve never needed one before and in fact tend to shy away from buying kitchen tools that have only one purpose, but the spiced cherries recipe called to me so much that I had to go and shell out the $20 at the specialty kitchen store in Broadmead to get the pitter. (The clerk assured me that the more expensive one was the best, and I fell for it, ha!)

What I’ve learned is that using a cherry pitter is amazing. It didn’t take long to pit three pounds of cherries. The hardest part of the task was fending off my daughter who was there with seeking hands to try to take them from me as soon as I pitted them! The pitter leaves the cherry mostly intact and we made short work of eating the little cherry plugs that got shot out along with the unneeded pits.

The photos above really tell the story; these cherries are easy to make and not very time consuming once you put them into the pot. I’m almost embarrassed to show you my ‘pot pics’ because my pot is 15 years old and showing its wear. (This is not the Food Network over here – clearly!) The cherries taste like a little bit of Christmas. Which is probably when I’ll have to wait to open them because I got three jars’ yield and I’ll have to ration them until this time next year!

You’ll see my tea ball in the photos. This is the first time I’ve used it not for tea and it was great to hold the spices and have their flavour leach into the cherries. (You could easily put the spices straight into the jar themselves but I opted for a cleaner look.)

What to use my cherry pitter for next? Perhaps just a round of cherry finger snappers straight into our mouths!



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