Do you love cherries as much as I do? I really don’t know how to describe my feelings when I see a cherry tree full of cherries. Whenever I see such a tree, I realize how beautiful living is. This may sound nonsense, but I don’t have the same feeling for other fruit trees. It makes me so happy to see those little red things between green leaves on a tree. I suppose that this makes the tree happy as well. It looks like a bride in reds. Have I told before that red is the color of brides and newly married women in our culture? I think I love seeing cherry trees much more than eating cherries.
I would witness how cherry trees blossommed and then fruited as a child when we visited my grandma. There were immense cherry yards in the village she was living and I remember watching these yards with a great admiration. It is such a village that nobody has to get permission to get into someone’s yard and to taste some cherries, so we would enter one, taste some and then enter another to taste a different species of cherry. Grandma also had a cherry tree in her backyard where we (my cousins and I) enjoyed a lot. We would climb on the tree, which was my favorite method to taste fruits, and would chat there eating cherries. The funniest thing I remember is that we, as girls, would make ear rings from cherries by hanging them on our ears. We would love to feel swingings of cherries on our ears when we shake our heads. Would you do the same thing when you were children?
Besides their wonderful taste and beauty, it is known that cherries also have healing effects. It is known that they are more effective as painkillers than an aspirin. So if you have bad headache, please try eating cherries before taking any other painkillers. No need to mention that they are great antioxidants. Heavy smokers should eat cherries to get rid of the nicotine in their body. It also strengthens our immune system and our body against many cancer types. Grandma would also say that cherry stalk has many herbal effects,too. She would make tea boiling cherry stalks in water for about 10 minutes. She would say that this helped kidneys work well and cured joint calcification. I learnt one more thing from her that cherry stones keep heat for a long time, so she never wasted these stones. She would fill a heatproof bag with dried cherry stones and heat it in oven. She put this heated bag under my feet whenever I had stomachache. I’m always in favor of trying herbal healing before any medicine just like grandma as I believe that nature has all remedies if used right.
Cherries are mostly in various tones of red, but we have a unique species of cherries in Turkey, yellow cherries. They are so rare in our country that it is grown in few regions. I don’t know if it’s grown in other countries. It has a very limited season here, so if you see it at the market, you shouldn’t miss that chance. Yellow cherries are sweeter in taste, that may be the reason why people prefer mostly these to make jam. They make jam either from yellow cherries or sour cherries.
At the open market last week I had that chance and I bought 2 kilos of yellow cherries to make some jam. Unfortunately I didn’t think how I would pit them. In the evening, when I prepared the necessary cups in the kitchen and grabbed one cherry, I realized it wouldn’t be so easy to pit them. I wanted them remain as they were, but how? Believe or not, I spent great effort on scooping their stones. After some time, getting tired, I gave up and just cut them in half and easily removed the stones. I called mom in the morning and told my cherry adventure. She laughed at me and asked why I didn’t buy a cherry pitter. A cherry pitter? What was that, I’ve never heard such a thing! Gosh why didn’t I talk to mom a day before? Then she told me if I didn’t have that tool, I could use a paper clip as a hook to remove cherry stones. She claims it works perfect. It was too late for me! Oh wait! I’m planning to making jam from sour cherry as well when its season comes, I can try either of these methods then. If you know any other ways to pit cherries, I’d be glad to hear.
2 kilos (4,40 pounds) cherries make about 1 kilo jam.
Sari Kiraz Receli
- 2 kilos yellow cherries
- 1 ½ kilo (3.30 pound) sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
Wash the cherries, remove their stalks and stones (either with Oxo Good Grips Cherry Pitter or by cutting them in half). Put the cherries in a large pot. Then pour sugar on them and wait it 5 hours. You can do this step overnight. At the end of this time, you’ll see that all sugar is dissolved and cherries release their water. That’s why we don’t need to add extra water.
Put the pot on low heat and boil it until it gets thick enough. Remove its scum occasionally. To understand if it has the right thickness, drop very little jam on a plate, turn it upside down. If the jam doesn’t run down easily, if it’s a bit sticky, that means it’s done. Add lemon juice, boil it another 5 minutes and take it from fire. do not boil it more after adding lemon juice. Otherwise, your jam gets too dark in color.
If your cherries are too soft, then after it boils for about 10 minutes, take the cherries from the sherbet with a strainer and keep boling the sherbet until it reaches the right consistency. ıf you boil the cherries with its sherbet for the whole time, cherries will be overcooked and all mashed. Then add the cherries and boil them for a few minutes more. And add lemon juice. Let it cool.
If you have a balcony or a garden, wait your jam under sun. This helps its consisteny, so don’t worry if your jam is not thick enough after boiling, just wait it under sun for a few days. Do not forget to cover it with a veil to protect it from any insects. Then you can put it in jars and keep it in a place without sunlight.
So according to the rule of this award, I’m supposed to name 7 things about me.
1. I love watching movies
2. The last movie I watched is Knowing by the director Alex Proyas. It was great with the performance of Nicolas Cage.
3.I am interested in literature, I love to read novels, short stories, poetries.
4.I sometimes try to write short stories.
5. I always read before sleeping. Reading Zorba the Greek by Nicos Kazancakis these days.
6. I LOVE eggs at breakfast.
7. I hate cleaning greens like spinach, parsley or fresh mint as too much dirt hides in them. But of course I do that cleaning
It’s absoultely so hard to decide on just 7 bloggers to share this award, so I want to share it with everyone I’m in contact with in this blog world.
Cherries in Winter
Cherries always complain about the limited time they have. THey can appear just in summer and they can’t see the other seasons of nature. They wait the coming of summer whole year.
It is unfair! One day, one of them hided from people and didn’t come out until winter. When everwhere was white with snow, she decided to go out. She wrapped herself up not to get cold and wanted to ski on frozen hills. She didn’t know how, she just wore a pair of roller skaters and started. Luck was with this little cute thing, so nothing bad happened to her. But she understood the difficulty of winter and told her friends that summer is always better for them. (drawing by mom)