We went cherry picking on Memorial weekend at Stagecoach Lane Ranch in Oroville, California. The u-pick ranch is operated by wonderful people and the fruit is so delicious. We met up with our friends from Returning to Paradise and had a delightful time harvesting together. It was a day of old-fashioned family fun at its finest!
After picking cherries for about 30-45 minutes we were getting pretty hot and had already gathered about 13 pounds of fresh, tree-ripened fruit.
After paying for our harvest. We bought ourselves a regular lemonade and a cherry lemonade as a delicious and refreshing treat. The cherry lemonade was regular lemonade with a heaping tablespoon of cherry sauce added to it. I’d like to try making the syrup/sauce by mixing pitted cherries, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and simmering it for awhile.
I would also like to make some cherry jam. I have 2 reasons, the first reason is because it is so delicious and I don’t often see it on the grocery store shelves. The 2nd reason is a notorious family story from my father’s side involving my grandmother and my aunt, resulting in my aunt refusing to have anything to do with cherry jam to this day. The story is from before I was born, so I find it more on the humorous side than the notorious. At any rate, cherry jam reminds me of my dear aunt and uncle in NC and my grandmother. I don’t quite remember all the story’s details but I’ll just make up the missing pieces in my version below.
Once upon a time, there were two newlyweds in love. They had met in grammar school in Alberta Canada in a small town near Calgary. The young wife took such care to ensure she provided a beautiful home for her dear husband. The young husband worked hard to provide for his darling wife. It came to pass, that the young couple was expecting a visit from his mother. The first “mother-in-law” visit for the young wife. She had never worked so hard to prepare for the special visitor, taking extra care to ensure the meals and decor were just right. On the day the guest was to arrive, everything was in perfect order. Everyone had a wonderful time visiting and enjoyed a spectacular supper. The evening meal was followed by a home-baked dessert that would’ve rivaled any bakery in France. For you see, the young wife was a master of homemaking, cooking, pastries, and interior decor. After a truly beautiful evening, everyone retired for the night and slept well with full tummies and happy hearts.
It was at the breakfast table the following morning that not everyone remained on their best behavior. My uncle made a comment about the cherry preserves. Actually, the comment was not about the cherry preserves, the comment was about how there weren’t any cherry preserves on the table. I imagine that it might’ve gone something like this:
MIL: What a nice breakfast dear, you have every kind of jam imaginable here for me to choose from. I just love orange marmalade, it’s my favorite!
Husband: Yes, there are lots of choices except for no cherry jam. I can’t remember the last time I had cherry jam. Oh how I miss the cherry jam you used to always have on the table mom.
Wife: (says nothing and feels slightly hurt)
MIL: (says nothing and feels bad that her son doesn’t have cherry jam)
Next morning, MIL arrives at the breakfast table and deliberately places a jar of cherry jam in the center of the table with an air that would’ve made the queen of England roll her eyes.
And the young couple lived happily ever after, without ever having cherry jam again.
We hope our last 2 posts inspire you to find a nearby u-pick farm, do some harvesting, shop local, and support a farmer!