31 May 2010

is it summer yet?

peas are poppin' off the vine, and into happy little bellies.

sour cherries are red on the trees, and delicious in pies.

june berries turned purple, one day early (may 31).

mulberries stain the roads, and make a lovely jam.

cosmo and i dropped everything and ran four blocks to the park, as soon as we heard the jingle of the ice cream truck.

i think it might be summer now.

justin recently gave us this nikki mclure book: mama, is it summer yet? which so perfectly fit the moment--the season where spring glides into summer, and carl and i drag cosmo through the neighborhood to forage for fruit.

canning season is ON at our house. we processed 10 jars of mulberry jam, made simpler with the fabulous victorio strainer that carl's parents passed onto us this year (a product very similar to the one we have, was recently featured here, and since our happy homestead sponsored one of my favorite bloggers, i'd suggest going there first, IF you are in the market for one of these awesome, hand powered machines).

sour cherries are my absolute favorite fruit (until red raspberry season), there's nothing like the flavor, and they hang so perfectly on the branch, blemish free. sweet cherries may be better, for eating-out-of-hand, but the sweet varieties that grow around here seem to struggle with all sorts of diseases and molds, so that by the time they are ripe enough to pick, most are not fit to eat. plus, there is no better pie than a sour cherry pie, and you know how i love to make pie. i attempted a lattice top for the first time, and was pleased with the results. one pie went to a community orchard work party, for inspiration. the other, i brought to a cookout.
the june berries (also known as serviceberries, pictured below) will probably end up in jelly.

welcome summer fruits! welcome summer!

tips for local folks: the cherry tree can be found at walnut and dodds. june/serviceberry trees line the parking lot at the mall, behind macy's, and are also in the parking lot near von lee, on kirkwood and indiana, downtown. as for mulberries? well, find the stains in the road, and look up. they are everywhere!


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely amazing!

We need to grow some sour cherries; our regular cherries have never done well. 3 out of the 4 or 5 trees we've had died before producing anything. We suspect it's the proximity to the walnut trees.

I think you may have helped us solve a puzzle too. We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday, and they were telling us about a short tree in their yard with these blueberry-like berries...and we tried all our plant books and couldn't figure it out. I'm now convinced it's a juneberry. So, thanks! :)

Bossy Betty said...

What beautiful pictures you have here!

Your sour cherries brought back lots of memories. We used to pick them when we were kids.

Together We Save said...

Wow - that pie looks amazing...

Alli said...

You are an inspiration! I need to get my fruit foraging glasses on...I LOVE that you reap the fruits that everyone else seems to ignore and make delicious pies and jams with them!!!

mep said...

Sour cherry pie sounds so delicious right now. Your lattice is a work of art.

One of my childhood friends had a big cherry tree in her backyard, and I always thought it was such a bummer that the cherries were so sour. I guess her mom and dad did not make pies (at least, not for snot-nosed fourth graders).