A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Chokecherry Tree

This is the blossom of a Chokecherry tree looks kind of like a bottle brush. We had a tree at my old house. We were new to gardening and really didn't know what this tree was. In the spring it was covered with these long cluster flowers. Being kind of a scraggly tree...it really came into it's own in the spring. I watched the tree and noticed that little cherry type fruits were growing on it. The pit or seed was bigger that the fruit part, it seemed. Later in the summer our deck was stained with something blackish red. The yard was full of bird song and chattering from the chipmunk. The birds were eating these berries and then visiting my deck...and you know what they did while they were visiting. I wasn't too happy with this, because it really stained and was everywhere. I had never made jam or jelly before, but thought that these cherries might be good for that. I went to Ace Hardware and bought the canning supplies. My young son and the girl across the street got up on the neighbor's garage roof and started picking the cherries. It takes a lot of these cherries to make jam. The kids were so proud and they wanted to help. We went through the whole canning process and made...I think....4 jars. The kitchen was a disaster....red stains on every utensil and the kid's clothes and faces. It wasn't very good. Very thick and tart....remember I made this without a recipe. Well, we never did that again, but it was a fun day for the kids. One that they'll never forget.

Here's the recipe for....Old Time Chokecherry Jam

Remove stems from choke cherries and wash. drain. Add 1 cup water to every 4 cups fruit. Place over low heat and simmer until fruit is very tender,stirring occasionally. Rub pulp through a medium sieve; measure, and add an equal amount of sugar. Place over moderate heat and stir until sugar has melted. Bring to a full, rolling boil and cook until mixture sheets(220F.) stir constantly. Seal in hot sterilized jars. Three cups pulp will make about 3 half-pints.

Here's another....sounds better to me.

Get your chokecherry juice as usual - wash fruit, shake dry, pull fruit off the stems, put in a pot, barely cover with water, cook gently until mush, drip the juice. You'll also need to get some apple juice prepared as for apple jelly.]
Use 3 parts chokecherry juice to 2 parts apple juice, whatever quantity of total juice you are making up. Use 2 parts sugar to 3 parts juice (after combining juices) - that is, for each cup of juice, use 2/3 cup of sugar. For detailed jelly-making instructions (if you need them), see any classic cookbook that covers such things.
This does NOT require extra pectin (the apple juice takes care of that), but it is a pretty rugged jelly, flavorwise (equivalent of currant, if not more so). We mostly used it with meats (as one would cranberry jelly), but I always liked it with crackers just as well. Try putting it on cream cheese on a saltine

I was reminded of this time with the kids, by Sue http://sullivanandmurphy.blogspot.com/ in my comments yesterday. She must have had a better recipe than I. There's a tree back in the woods now at this house. I'm going to leave the cherries for the birds and other critters that enjoy them. The worst thing about this tree is that the seeds take root and there are little trees everywhere next year. I like the shape of the tree and how it looks in spring and then with the cherries on it. A nice addition to a wild area.



OhioMom said...

Pretty blooms ... my next door neighbor has a woodland backyard, there are two sour cherry trees overhanging my roof (this is a garage roof) and the birds and squirrels have really enjoyed the feast, but they leave the pits behind for me to sweep up everyday :) The crabapple tree will be next .. sigh.

Lynn said...

I felt like a bird up there, Just free in the wind. It was amazing. I was flying higher than the sea gulls... That is something I WILL do again!!!