CherryPalooza! Today’s feature? Cherry’melon shrub with fresh lemon verbena. Taking a break to say “hi” as I work my way through the 18lbs of fresh cherries from the lovelies over at North West Cherry Growers and the Washington State Fruit Commission. Check out last week’s homemade maraschino cherries and stay tuned for a couple more CherryPalooza recipes. I’ve never been quite much of a fan of melons, but the American holiday July 4th just screams watermelon. Watermelon is the only melon I can actually tolerate.
Shrubs have became my new favorite way answer to both preserves fruit and livening up a simple cocktail. For a delicious and bright flavored summer shrub using the cold shrub method, I tossed together a couple pounds of cherries, watermelon, and some fresh lemon verbena picked from my garden. For a tasty refreshing cocktail, try a summer take on a classic Americano, recipe below. Cheers!!
Every June I receive the best FedEx shipment ever: 18lbs of fresh cherries. For the past three years I have participated as a canbassador for the Washington State Fruit Commission. Free fresh fruit… multiple blog posts… duh!? I deem the next few cherry posts CherryPalooza!
Up first: boozie cherries! Specifically, Luxardo Maraschino liquor soaked cherries. You’ve probably seen canned Luxardo “original” Maraschino Cherries in your local liquor store before. Like the store bought cocktail cherries, these are cherries are sweet, booze soaked, and oh so good. Unlike store bought maraschino cherries, these cherries only contain cherries, booze, sugar, lemon, and a few spices. No citric acid, no glucose, no other flavors! I slightly modified a recipe I found over at the Will Cook for Friends blog. I plan on using these cocktail cherries plus their liquid in homemade cocktails.
At the too young and inappropriate age of 11 I started practicing tying a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. Why? Because “you know what they say about being able to tie a cherry stem with your tongue… that you’re a good kisser.” ha ha ha… I’d be lying if I said that after putting up 18lbs of fresh bing cherries from the Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation that “I didn’t attempt to twist a couple stems”. 🙂
These Chinese 5 spice pickled cherries plus my classically canned cherries and black pepper & cabernet cherry jam concludes cherry’paloza! I had originally planned on getting creative and making up my own herbed pickled cherry recipe, but after much web consultation and honestly because Leena’s looked soooo good, I opted to re-make and post Leena Eats’ Chinese five spice pickled cherries recipe. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, Chinese 5 Spice is made up of cinnamon, star anise, cloves, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seed. Try them out, and please let me know if you have any other tasty pickled fruit recipes of your own.
Cherries wild!! Do you remember the days of everything cherry? When every bra, tablecloth, bathing suit, and rockabilly chick was a canvas for the iconic image of a cherry? I actually never went through the phase, and I think I’m more than OK with it. I instead went through the “put a Roxy sticker on it” phase. Cool kid status, huh?
As part of what I am deeming “cherry’palooza” this is the second recipe in a cherry series of three that employees cherries that I received as part of the Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation Can’bassador program. This black pepper and cabernet cherry jam was adapted from The Joy of Keeping a Root Cellar by Jennifer Megyesi as well as from Home & Farm Sense. A sweet and savory cherry jam recipe that pairs nicely with a mild cheese and cracker snack. To save your fingers, kitchen, and definitely a lot of time, I would highly recommend picking up a cherry stoner like the Westmark pictured below.
Last Tuesday morning I was abruptly jolted from my sweet sweet slumber by a loud knock at the door. My first thought, “who the hell is knocking at my door at 9am?” followed by, “oh yay! a visitor”, followed by, “oh god, please don’t be my landlord”. Making sure I wasn’t about to answer the door in my skimpy floral pjs, I threw on my robe, and then peered through the peak-hole. The intruder? A nice UPS man with a HUGE package (bend… and snap!). I wasn’t expecting a shipment/ had forgotten that I was expecting a shipment. I saw the Washington State Fruit Commission return address and faintly remembered agreeing to be a canbassador months ago. Excitement ensued quickly followed by insane anxiety as I was leaving for CA, which gave me a mere 2 days (!!!) to come up with and process 18lbs of bing cherries. Yikes!
Canbassador program? Heck yes, I want to be a canbassador! Wait, what’s a canbassador? Early last month I joined the canning ranks and was invited by the Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation to participate in their Can’bassador program. I had to clarify with them, but the gist of the partnership is: I say, “yes”, and they send me a box of delicious Washington-grown cherries. Sweet! Literally. With 18lbs of cherries (probably 2lbs straight into my belly) I have several recipes coming your way over the next week.
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