The last few months have been full of non-stop discovery. Each new day brings with it a gift. Last week the wild rose bushes bloomed everywhere and filled the air with a clean, sweet smell. We are making sugar scrub with the petals! Next the mini patches of strawberries poked their heads through and we were able to pick handfuls. Now it’s time for cherries. We’ve been driving past a nearby farm for weeks watching, wondering what type of fruit would soon dangle from the blooming trees. It wasn’t until a new friend extended an invitation for us to go cherry picking that we had our answer. Cherries. All kinds of cherries. Bing cherries. Queen Annes, Pie Cherries, Rainier cherries. Of course we were delighted to accept the invitation and spent a warm but breezy afternoon delicately plucking cherry after cherry into our mouths, every once in awhile managing a few into the bucket.
2 1/2 hours spent roaming the cherry fields, climbing trees, and filling our bellies with fruit from each tree we passed, only to ensure it wasn’t any better than the one before it of course. We managed to fill 2 buckets worth and that all together with one giant cherry stained smile from the little nugget made for a pretty perfect afternoon.
The next three days hilarity ensued as the nugget tried to take full control of the cherries. Upon arriving home, she dragged the entire cooler straight into her room. The following afternoon, I began pitting the cherries to freeze and she wasn’t a happy camper. Every time I opened the cooler, she fiercely ran and closed the cooler lid, looking me square in the eyes “No more Mom!” Little arms reached in quickly to grab an extra large handful for herself and then plopped down to sit on top of the cooler, ensuring my denied entry to her special stash.
Baths started to seem pointless because within 5 minutes of being clean we would turn around to see her covered yet again in cherry juice. Her arms had been designed in cherry henna and at one point my husband asked ” Is that a bruise or just cherry juice?” referring to a spot she somehow got on her back. It was cherry juice.
We’ve already decided we need to go again and pick a few more bucketfuls before the season ends. Next time they might need to weigh the nugget before we begin!
With some of our cherries we created a fun, sweet and cool treat! I hope you enjoy this recipe and find yourself some local fruit to pick this summer.
RECIPE : Cherry Chocolate Ice cream Sandwiches
- 2 cups frozen cherries
- 1 cup fresh chopped cherries
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 6 graham crackers
- 1 cup dark chocolate (melted)
Run strawberries through juicer on your ice cream setting or blend in blender until creamy. Fold in fresh chopped cherries. Spoon on and even out cherry ice cream on top of half a graham cracker. Place another graham cracker on top to create an ice cream sandwich. Once filled place on parchment paper and let freeze overnight.
Melt chocolate until smooth. Dip half of each ice cream sandwich into the chocolate and put back into the freezer. Let chocolate harden about 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!
Last but not least we snuck a handful of the last cherries into a soak in locally made Pendleton Whiskey for an adult treat during these hot summer days!