During my childhood summers, it was a regular thing to take a trip out to some farm or another to pick cherries. Cherry pie is my daddy's favorite and my mom makes the best cherry pie because she's awesome like that and she knows the simple truth that canned cherries don't even come close. However, over time, it seems that the farms that we went to in my childhood have vanished or simply stopped opening up their farms to people to come and pick. To make matters worse, I could not find pie cherries in a grocery store or farmer's market anywhere.
So, three summers ago, I decided to take matters into my own hands and planted a cherry tree in my back yard. I was so excited last spring to see the cherries begin to grow and thought at last, my day had come. No such luck. I walked out into my back yard one early June morning to find my tree stripped bear from all of it's beautiful berries. This summer, I thought I'd be more cautious and watch the tree daily to make sure to go and pick as soon as they began to turn red, but again- fail. And I found two broken branches. Fat birds... or maybe it was the squirrels? What I did find on the tree that day was one single, solitary beautiful cherry. I picked it and began trying to think through what I should do with it. (Pie cherries are rather tart and not very enjoyable by themselves.)
Then last Saturday, I ended up going to the farmer's market. And what should I happen upon but Cherry Jam. Made with those same pie cherries! I snatched a jar up and my family has been enjoying it immensely this week. Momma used to make cherry jam and preserves too.
Then, just as we were about to leave we went by one more stand on the "ignored row," and low and behold... a pound of pie cherries, their last one. My one lone cherry finally had a purpose- to join these others. I left skipping to the car, my heart happy, and my birthday month complete. Isn't their color beautiful?
And so I've been busy making a pie over nap-time today. You know those extra scraps you have hanging off the side of your pie dish before you pinch the layers together? You're supposed to bake those on a cookie sheet. Then top them off with your favorite jam for snack time.
And how did the pie turn out? Well, I'm still waiting for it to finish... so I'll show it to you tomorrow!