I had to plug in the second fridge out in the garage today. That is how much fruit I currently possess. How much fruit, you ask? A ridiculous amount.
Last week I picked several pounds of strawberries at Larriland. We still have a few left. But this week, Patti kindly picked a boatload of sweet cherries for me. (Patti is a tireless fan of fruit-picking.) After accepting her most gracious gift, I headed straight over to Larriland myself.
Today I picked black currants first. The picking was not abundant, although I was there plenty early. Apparently the bushes had been picked clean on Saturday, then closed for a few days. The currants I did find were mostly spotted. When I inquired about the brown spots, I was told they were probably due to sun scald. Not sure how this will affect the taste of my preserves.
Last year, I used my black currants to make a cordial with vodka and sugar. Perhaps it was the recipe I used, which involved no cooking, only many months of steeping, but the final flavor of the sweetened drink was not nearly as intense as I would have liked. So this year, I plan to stick with the whole fruit preserves. Black currants are not really edible fresh and raw, so it's necessary to cook them down with some sugar to make them palatable. Once that's done, I think their flavor is heavenly.
I also picked Montmorency sour cherries today. It was the first day the tart cherry orchard was open for picking and the supply was abundant. The quality of the cherries was fabulous-- they were big, fat, juicy, ruby red gems! I am a huge fan of sour cherries, and I find the Montmorency have the very best flavor. I guess I will make preserves with these as well, although I may freeze them first and wait until the weather is a bit cooler to do the canning. Since they end up cooked either way, I don't think the freezing will affect the final product.
Fruit, fruit, everywhere! I may need to purchase a bottle of Moscato and use up some of this fresh fruit in a glass of homemade sangria! (Not a bad idea, right?)