Monday, December 07, 2009
I know it's Summer when the first stone fruits hit the stove in a preseve-making frenzy.
The Old Flame and I took Mum and Peggy off to Young on Saturday and bought up big in the cherry shed on Torry Hill. 30 kilos between us might sound like a lot, but much gets given away.
Sunday, TOF and I get busy with the cherry pitter.
We sacrificed a bottle of vodka to make two jars of cherry vodka which will be ready in time for New Year's Eve and made a start on the port stockpile Dad left me and preseved a couple of big jars of cherries in spiced port for dessert on Christmas Day.
There are three containers of cherries poached in cinnamon syrup in the freezer to be eaten sometime in autumn or winter when stone fruits are just a dream. Five jars of cherry, ginger and port jam also made it off the stove. I suspect we'll use this more as a sauce than a jam as it's very runny and very gingery.
There's also a weeny bit of highly concentrated "Essence of Christmas" syrup. We chucked all the cherry pips and left over syrups from the other recipes which included port, cinnamon, orange peel, sugar, star anise and lemon skins into a small saucepan and let it simmer while we did the rest of the cooking. I seem to recall a mango seed also got popped in for good measure late in the day as well. We then strained and bottled it. It will be the base of a sauce or two for leftovers after Christmas.
Another couple of kilos went into the dehydrator for winter enjoyment as well.
Then there were the ones that only made it as far as our mouths. And there's plenty for snacks this week.