Cherry, cherry oh baby,
Don’t you know I’m in love with you?
…for those of you old enough to remember that UB40 song. I can just hear one of my nephews saying now, “What’s UB40?”
As a wedding gift, my very smart mother gave us a gift card for a local nursery. We thought, What better way to get started in life together than to plant some fruit trees? Out we went and bought four trees: cherry, apple #1 (honeycrisp), apple #2 (pink lady), and the FrankenPear (five varieties grafted on to one trunk). You’ll be hearing about each of these trees as they mature and offer up their fruits (hopefully) come autumn.
We planted all of them in the fall of 2005. Last year was the first year the cherry fruited. It had about 30 cherries. We have not yet had any fruit from the others (come on, guys, you can do it!) Last year we ate all the cherries right off the tree.
This year, the cherries came in with a bang. They were in full glory for the Red, White, and Pork party. We even had plenty left after encouraging party-goers to freely partake of our ruby gems:
This is a Montmorency cherry tree, which is a self-pollinator that produces a very tart pie-cherry. In fact, the cherries are so tart that I almost can’t take it. The Man loves ’em. My sister asked me today if we’d had a problem keeping the birds away from the cherries and it suddenly occurred to me that we hadn’t. I’m seriously thinking it’s because they are just so tart. We have tons of birds around our place and they didn’t seem at all interested. Go figure.
This year we had our first real cherry bumper crop. I’d estimate at least 100 cherries. Here’s The Man harvesting them:
Here they are looking very Martha in their white bowl on the grass:
And here they are boiled in sugar and beautified by GF cobbler-biscuits:
I used the fruit cobbler recipe from Washburn and Butt’s 125 Best Gluten-free Recipes, which continues to be one of my all-time favorite GF cookbooks. It’s simple to make and quite tasty. I used the leftover dough the next day for biscuits with jam. Mmmm!
But, the cobbler was so tart! I mean tart to the point where you’re like, do I like this? However, by the second day, the flavors really mellowed and it was quite good. It would have been even better with some vanilla goat ice cream, naturally, but I hadn’t planned ahead. Lesson learned for next year.
The rest of the trees are looking promising, except that one of the apples has something called “scab.” We know what to do to help it out and I’m sure it will be thriving again very soon. Somehow this all seems very metaphoric for a marriage. A little scab, a lot of fruiting, some TLC, and we’re doing great.