Ode to Cherries...
First…. Let me share a huge THANK YOU with all those who read my last blog and voted for my Pickled Pink fabric design in last week’s Spoonflower contest. I’m happy to share that it was voted into the top ten!! ♥ :-D It’s a real honor to be included among such talent!
From time to time I enjoy making homemade jam…particularly since it is super easy and requires no special canning equipment. Because, hey...I'd rather spend time in a studio...and not a kitchen. But...I do get hungry! If you have ever wanted to try your hand at making a basic jam, look up Martha Stewarts Tart Cherry Jam. It’s super easy to follow and there are only three ingredients; cherries, sugar and lemon juice. I threw in a few raspberries since I didn't have quite enough cherries. Basically, all you do is cook down the berries until they thicken as I'm doing here in this old iron pot my sister gave me.
New jelly jars may be purchased for this or simply save the ones from store bought jams and reuse those. As long as the rubber strip inside the lid is in good shape, they will reseal. The best part is how these make nice homemade gifts. Another nice gift might be something sewn from one of my cherry or fruit inspired fabrics such as the ones shown here. I hope you don't mind the mention of my designs during this "jam session." But this is a fabric design website after all. :-)
These and more are currently offered in My Spoonflower Shop.
Okay, so yes...there is sugar, but let’s ignore that nutritional badboy for a moment and focus on the health benefits of the cherries.
(No worries, low sugar recipes are available too.) Not only are cherries high in fiber and low in calories, but they also act as an anti-inflammatory for conditions such as gout arthritis and fibromyalgia. And, this heavily pigmented fruit is also known for its anti-oxidant properties. That means while icky things like pollution and smoke are attacking and damaging our cells…giving diseases such as cancer an opportunity, the Almighty Cherry can be our little super power fruit rescuing our cells from those nasty cell oxidizing pollutants.
As an original Michigander, I’m pleased that Traverse City, MI is known as Cherry Capital of the World and holds the annual National Cherry Festival.
Growing up in cherry country meant annual trips to the orchards early in the morning before the sun was too hot. Come to think of it...this was the same for apples, peaches and strawberries too. We picked until lunch filling as many containers as we brought. The cherry orchards involved climbing and shaking the trees, which was rather fun for us little monkeys. Being a bit adventurous, I more enjoyed the walks in the woods in search of wild blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You had to know where to find berry patches...Oh, and keep your ears open because bears pick berries too!
Our little fingers were quite stained from pitting cherries in preparation for canning...not to mention those belly aches from a little too much sampling! Of course, we protested the hours of pitting, peeling or slicing all the fruits, but come winter there were no complaints over the warm pies, crisps and cobblers created using all the tasty preserves. We still talk about how full our cellar always was before winter. :-)
Speaking of yummy preserves…I think it’s time for a taste test! Go ahead, try making your own jam. It's easy and very rewarding. For the full experience, why not seek out an orchard in your area and pick fresh berries. It might just be a good outing to take some youths (from maybe age ten and up) to teach them what it's like to harvest and preserve the food they enjoy...something our ancestors had to do with nearly all their food before refrigeration. Plus, physical exercise and fresh air is a nice change from indoor computer games. And if you would rather not cook, there is always sewing and crafting with fruity Designed by Debby fabrics!
♥ Thank you very much for stopping by. ♥ I wish you a wonderful week and leave you with this most delicious quote.
Life is just a bowl of cherries;
don't take it serious, it’s mysterious.
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
so live and laugh and laugh at love,
love a laugh, laugh and love. ~ Bob Fosse
Watercolor by Debby Badder 2014