Cherry Nirvana

20 Jun

I have been cleaning cherries the last couple of days.  So far, we’ve picked about six gallons of cherries from my sister’s one dwarf cherry tree.  It’s quite the productive little guy.  I figure two ice cream buckets is enough for one day.  That is enough to fill most of the day with pitting cherries.  We’ll see if I get back there to pick the rest.

Yesterday morning, as I began cleaning, I found myself becoming more relaxed than I had been all this summer break so far.  Pick up a cherry, slit it with the knife, pop out the pit, cherry to the right, pit to the left.  There was an easy rhythm as I continued this over and over.  The repetitive nature of the task is usually what makes it a chore, but not this time.  I became aware of how quiet the house was.  In the background I could hear the gurgling of the aquarium.  There was the occasional honk from the geese, the clicking of the dog’s toenails on the linoleum.  Mostly, it was incredibly quiet, and the rhythm of pick up a cherry, slit it with the knife, pop out the pit, cherry to the right, pit to the left was strangely calming.

While repeating this pattern, I realized that I was happy and doing exactly what I wanted.  It is amazing to realize that there is nothing you would rather be doing than the task in front of you.  While pitting cherries is really a small, menial task, it is a one step in the larger plan.  With these cherries, I’m taking another step closer to creating my on farm market.  I’ve already made cherry jam to go with my strawberry and strawberry rhubarb jams.  I also have an order to fill for three jars of my cherry jam.

Knowing that my work is bringing me closer to my dreams, I kept it up.  Pick up a cherry, slit it with the knife, pop out the pit, cherry to the right, pit to the left.  As I worked, I could clearly visualize the building I want to put up.  I could see the neatly landscaped flower gardens with picnic tables and benches for people to sit and enjoy the gardens.  I could hear the music of a live band on a summer evening.  I could see the petting zoo with my friendly goats and chickens and geese and whatever animals I might acquire along the way.

The stress melted away with each repetition.  Pick up a cherry, slit it with the knife, pop out the pit, cherry to the right, pit to the left.  I could feel the measurement of time changing from school days and days until spring break to the passing of the seasons:  kidding season, strawberry season, cherry season, harvest season, canning season, on and on in an endless cycle.  I bagged and froze the cherries in quart bags to be used for perfecting the recipe for “Chapel” wine.

I froze bags already chopped to make more jam.  I collected the juice, and I’ve made one batch of cherry jelly.  I have more frozen to make another batch.  Pick up a cherry, slit it with the knife, pop out the pit, cherry to the right, pit to the left.  The possibilities are limitless with the cherries I’m cleaning and what I visualize while I work.  The more I put energy into the visualization and the work, the more likely they are to be completed.  Truly it was a beautiful morning.

If you’ve never experienced that Nirvana, perfectness in what you are doing, here is a delightful recipe that might be able to help you achieve that feeling.

Cherry Nirvana

Crust:

1 box (3 packages) of graham crackers, crushed

1 Cup melted butter or margarine

1/4 Cup sugar

Mix the sugar and crushed graham crackers and put in a 9×13 cake pan.

Pour the melted butter over the graham crackers.

Mix it together and press it into the bottom of the pan.  Bake the graham cracker crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let this cool.

Cherry Sauce: (I confess, I cheated and used a can of boughten cherry pie filling, so you’ll have to figure this out without a picture.)

1/2 Cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2 Tablespoons water

2 Cups pitted sour cherries

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to keep it from scorching.  Cook until it is thick and bubbly and continue cooking for another two minutes.  Remove it from the heat, cover and chill.  When it has cooled, make the filling.

Cherry Filling:

8 ounces goat chevre (or cream cheese softened to room temperature)

1-1/2 Cups powdered sugar

4 Cups whipped topping

1 Cup of cherry sauce (or canned cherry pie filling)

Mix all the ingredients in bowl.

Beat with the mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Pour over the cooled graham cracker crust.

Put in the refrigerator until chilled thoroughly.

When you serve, you can use the remaining cherry sauce to drizzle over the top, or you can lightly spread it over the top of the entire dessert.  If you save a few crushed graham crackers, you can sprinkle this over the top.  You can also sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Enjoy!

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