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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cherry Season

This week we travelled to a very old property called Somercotes for some wonderful cherries that they grow on the property. Driving down the tree lined road to this property is like stepping back in time. Fine Merino rams hang their heads in the shade close to the wire fence escaping the midday heat. Coming round the last bend, the old home built in the 1820s reveals itself in Georgian style. Beyond the home is a number of cottages and outbuildings that once was a community of 22 people. We had a wonderful lunch of smoked ham and a fragrant salad of mixed greens, herbs and flowers. Well worth the 50 min drive and we left with a 5kg box of cherries.

I had a very juicy time pitting the cherries for bottling and I calculated that about 95% of the cherries were perfect and blemish free, so really economical buying for the quality at $10/kg. The cherries with minor imperfections I used to make a beautiful lush cherry slice using the recipe from the raspberry slice and if you wanted to go the whole hog, you could top it with chocolate icing. This time the fruit is firmer and a beautiful fleshy bite in the soft crumb of the slice. Naturally we have been having handfuls of cherries and enjoying them fresh too but I have bottled the equivalent of 18 cans of cherries and will enjoy them throughout the year, especially in winter when we are dreary and longing for summer again.

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