The great homesteading adventure continues with an enormous, and I do mean beyond believably huge, gift of cherries. I spent the better part of a day dealing with approximately 60 (sixty, six-zero, I-know-it's-a-lot) pounds of cherries. I did this job without benefit a "pitter," which is some sort of appliance my farmgirl friend offered to lend me when she saw my purple (all-natural) manicure after the fact.
I dried nearly all of the cherries in my dehydrator. There is nothing as delicious as dried cherries! Well, the pears may compete, but there's another month for the cherries to stand alone on the platform of perfection.
And here's my favorite recipe for dried cherries (works well with fresh cherries too, but of course those are only around a couple of weeks a year):
Cherry Chevre Salad
One head red-leaf Romaine lettuce
One cup (or so) baby spinach leaves
One cup fresh chevre, crumbled
Half-cup toasted walnuts
Half-cup dried cherries
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing with orange juice and minced garlic
Toss it all together right before serving
That's it! I know, it's not really a recipe. But it's so good.
We'll have no trouble using the cherries in salads, trail mix, muffins and granola. I have heard some people freeze cherries. And of course there's always cherry preserve.
Any other ideas for me?