Sometimes a farmgirls gotta do what a farmgirls gotta do. When the cherries are ready, you pick them. Rain or shine, get the cherries. Night before last when I got home from work there was a steady heavy drizzle, but I didn't let it stop me. There's pies in them there trees! By the way, that isn't a mole on my face, which now I almost wish it were, cause it looks so Cindy Crawford...not sure what that is? A leaf bit? A tick? I dunno...
Every single time I pick cherries I think of my dear Aunt Gladys who fell out of a cherry tree and broke her leg. I always worry that I'll do the same. It's just the stuff that happens to me. See how precariously I'm perched on this ladder with wet rubber shoes on? It's an accident waiting to happen I tell you. (By the way, love those grubby shoes. Bought them at Target a couple of years ago, they were SO cute new. I love how I can muck about in the yard and then just hose them off. I'm about due a new pair, don't you think?)
Glenco came out to make sure I didn't fall off of the three foot ladder. Oh, I didn't tell you I have dwarf cherry trees? :-)
Apologies for the pics. The light was terrible. I think my shutter speed was about 1/8. I'm holding my breath, standing on a wet ladder people...cut me some slack.
Here are the jewels. These are sour cherries, sometimes called Pie Cherries. Montmorency is the variety. I don't like to eat them right off the tree, too sour for me.
Just as in life, some of the best things are just out of reach and require extra effort. It was right about this moment when my frizzy curly hair got all tangled up in the tree branches and I imagined myself hanging from my hair out of the tree. Didn't that happen to someone in the Bible?
I don't spray my trees with any chemicals. I'd love to say that it is cause I'm so organic, which really I am, but the real truth is that I'd never have the time to prune and take care of these trees correctly. It's by the goodness of God that I get anything at all! I planted two, cause you need a pollinator with these trees. This year one died, I have no idea why. Renee, you'd asked in a comment how I keep the birds off the trees? I'm sure they do get some, but they like the mulberries much better which actually ripen at the same time! How convenient that I have a large mulberry tree just steps from the cherries! Maybe they haven't discovered the raspberries, or the cats lying on the porch keep them at bay.
If you have the space, and you truly don't need much, I'd encourage you to plant a couple of these trees. They are beautiful in the spring, loaded with white flowers. Structurally, they are a pretty, small landscape tree. You will be so tickled going out and picking something off of a tree in your yard, and making a pie with it. Trust me on that one.
I'd planned on making cherry muffins this morning. Given the time of the month right now, I dare not bake them. I dare not I tell you. I want to share this recipe with you though.
Before I do, let's talk about muffins a little. I'm assuming that you bake alot, and maybe know these tips. If you do, scroll on down to the recipe, if not, read this, it will really help. (Do you know that all the time I write this blog, I'm paranoid that I'm using comma-splice sentences and run on sentences!? I'm sure am, I'm sorry.)
OK...muffin tips. Don't even think about using an electric appliance anywhere near your muffins. You really want to do it all by hand. You aren't making CAKE, you are making muffins. You don't want to incorporate a lot of air into the batter. I actually imagine that it is some nuclear mixture that will explode unless I treat it with the utmost care. I kid you not. I mix it SO gently, barely getting it mixed at all. It's hard to describe, and you can thank hormones that I don't have a photo of it to show you. Next time I do make muffins, I promise to show you a picture, ok?
Again, DO NOT OVER MIX YOUR DOUGH!!!
You should also have an oven thermometer and make sure that your oven is correct. Disasters may ensue if you think you are baking at 350, and your oven is really at 400.
I like using an ice cream scoop to insure that my muffins are uniform. I also do not like using cupcake liners on muffins. It's just my preference, but I like having a nice browned crust on my muffins.
Ok, without further adieu, the recipe. If you don't have access to cherries, try looking in the freezer section. I THINK they sell sour cherries there.
Cherry Vanilla Muffins
Preheat oven to 400.
2 1 /4 cups of flour
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of sour cherries
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 c. of milk ( I prefer using 1/2 cup regular milk, and 1/2 cup buttermilk)
1 T vanilla
Sift your dry ingredients together, mix in your cherries. Set aside.
Mix your wet ingredients together.
Mix the wet and dry together GENTLY! Remember the nuclear theory!
Bake about 12 minutes (longer, if you've used frozen cherries). Again, I just look and can tell when the muffins are done. Look for a golden brown muffin, that seems a bit firm when poked.
Cool, and glaze with a mixture of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. I don't have a recipe for that, I just plop about a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl, add about a teaspoon of vanilla, and then enough milk to make it drizzleable.
Count your blessings today ya'll.