Cherry ripe

Here we are already into the second week of January, which seems ridiculous.  Sydney already seems far away, and the summer here so far is from being filled with glorious, sunny days. Meanwhile, in the blogosphere, I’ve put my plans for my new website on hold for a couple of weeks, but watch this space for news.  However, also in the blogosphere, Cee’s Share Your World Challenge this week featured two questions that spoke to me. The first was if you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be? Well, I’m going to say ‘courage’ – courage to try a new form of exercise, courage to do things I want to do and courage to get over some of my phobias.  We’ll see how this all works out!

The other question that resonated was if life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..? Well, it would be raspberries, but it’s still (just) the season for cherries down here in New Zealand. They have been everywhere, and so good too.  But the season does not go on for ever, so what better thing to do than preserve them in some way.

With a goal of 2017 to try more pickles and preserves, I got started early just before the new year with these pickled cherries from In A Pickle by Kirsten Day, a New Zealand author.  To make 2 x 300 ml jars, you will need:

  • 500g cherries, stems and pips intact
  • 1.5 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used raw, brown sugar)
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 500g cherries, stems and pips intact
Szechuan peppercorns and star anise

Put the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns and spices into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the cherries and bring them up to the boil, then carefully spoon the cherries into warm, sterilised jars (I rinse mine out with boiling water then put them in the oven for a short while), and cover with pickling liquid.

Screw the lids down and leave to cool, then label and date.  They keep for a year, but once opened store in the fridge and use within a month.  Could be used when cooking duck, which I intend to try, or added to any dishes where you think they might work in, like an apple pie.

The final product

Oh, and Cee as ever asks:

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Well, from last week , grateful for a great holiday in Sydney….and what am I looking forward to?  Naturally, the weekend…..


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