Today I went to Curran’s Apple orchard and picked tart cherries. I had seen the sign on my way to Rockford last weekend and decided I had to pick cherries to freeze for a cherry pie. I got there around 9:45 in the morning and asked the lady attending about picking. She gave me a little bucket with a plastic bag. She said if I picked it full it was about 5 pounds. I thought that would do the trick.
I wandered past two beautiful black labs and went on back to the nearest trees. I decided the first one would do fine. There was another guy picking next to me using a ladder and a ground cloth. He picked and dropped them onto the cloth. We chatted while we picked. He and his three friends were picking to make cherry wine. I asked if I could go home with them. He laughed.
As I picked I imagined that I was almost in heaven. Of course, my brain worm had to start singing “Country Road, take me home.” Almost heaven, West Virginia. Not quite but heaven in Illinois right then and there.
I wandered around the tree picking and smiling to myself. I love cherries. My first memory of picking cherries was with my Daddy. We went to a friend’s house that had a tree in need of picking. Daddy boosted me into the three and I shook the limbs so the cherries would fall to the ground cloth Daddy had brought with us.
I filled my bucket and went to the desk. I asked the lady if I brought my camera in could I take some photos. I explained I had a blog and was going to share my experience of today on the blog and would like some photos. She agreed that I could take photos.
When I got back from my truck with my wallet and camera the folks who were making wine were checking out. I asked if I could take their picture and they agreed. One of the guys told me that one year they had made forty gallons of cherry wine. Oh my!
I had to take a picture of the dogs. They were napping. I took some more snaps of the orchard. I must go back for apples this fall.
I got home and the hubster decided he had to find out how people pitted cherries on the internet. I got our antique cherry pitter out but the rubber has rotted and the prongs would not make it through past them.
I grabbed a knife and poked the first cherry and squeezed the pit out. Deciding I didn’t want to lose the juice, I got a strainer and pitted over the strainer. The hubster tried a soda straw but wasn’t set that that was the method he wanted to use. Next he got a paperclip and bent it just so. He pitted quite a few cherries for me using the paperclip.
We got out the old scale and weighed a pound of cherries as that is what my recipe calls for. I got four pound bags and one that was a little short. That would be three pies and two cobblers. Just right.
Curren’s is on Route 70 near Meridian Road. The cherries are ripe now and everyone should go out and pick some cherries to put away. And you can pet the dogs.