Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wrinkled Fingers, Sweaty Brow, Aching Back! OH MY!!

In our yard (3/4 of an acre) we have an ancient apple tree (planted in the 20s or 30s), and a cherry tree. The apples are abundant, but rarely are big enough or tasty enough to be edible. Occasionally DH will pick some, peel and slice them and I will make him some "Fried Apple Pies." "Fried" is a misnomer these days because we rarely fry anything. But, I do rustle up some pie crust dough, cook the apples with appropriate amount of sugar and lots of cinnamon (see and make some "pies." YUMMY!

About that cherry tree ~ we didn't really even know it was a cherry tree until about 8-10 years ago when it started bearing fruit. I use the term "fruit" loosely. The first 5 years all we had were red DOTS on the tree, which the birds promptly ate. DH wished he could keep the birds away so he could have "Fried Cherry Pies." I guess he'd never pitted cherries!! 3 years ago he went out and picked some and I dutifully pitted them and made what passed for "Fried Cherry Pies." The cherry tree is a WORK IN PROGRESS!! I suspect it needs purposeful watering and some fruit tree fertilizer. However, at that point I wasn't willing to put THAT much work into the pies using cherries that aren't much bigger than a pea!!

However, THIS year, that tree is LOADED with cherries. Mind you, they are still smallish - the biggest might be the size of a garbonza bean, but ..... So, you guessed it, once DH saw all the cherries and how red, ripe and juicy they were, he started pining for a cherry pie. Monday we went out and picked maybe a gallon and a half. Yesterday I bought (GASP) pie crust dough (I DID use Pillsbury!), and today I picked some more of the cherries while DH played golf. Aren't I a GOOD wife????

I sat on the screen porch for TWO HOURS and pitted all those little cherries. They were juicy suckers! I had cherry juice all over the place. Even squirted Shadrach once - he was mortally offended. When I finished my fingers were WRINKLED from the juice and I had about 7 cups of cherry pulp, which I cooked with about 1/2-2/3 cup of sugar, some almond extract and cornstarch.

Then, even though we don't have air conditioning and it is pretty warm here today, I turned on the oven and began rolling out little round shapes for the pies. Somewhere in there I cooked dinner (chicken strips on the grill, baked potato and salad) and ate. I finally had to quit because I was so hot and was feeling pretty bad. I think I ended up with a dozen pies and enough "fixins" to make that many more.

OK, here's the kicker! As I pointed out the first batch out of the oven and asked DH what he thought he said (and I kid you NOT), "I wish we'd thought to get some apples so we could have fried apple pies." Thankfully the rolling pin was nowhere in sight!!

So, here I sit on the screen porch, laptop in my lap, Shadrach dozing on his table, doves cooing and birds chirping in the background, updating my blog with the saga of the "Fried Cherry Pies." DH is at granddaughter Madison's softball game.

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