A friend recently posted a photo on Facebook asking what kind of cherry she had found. It is like a large chokecherry. While I couldn’t definitively answer her question, it reminded me of the sour cherry tree we had in our backyard the first decade of my life.
It was quite an old, large tree and it produced lots of fruit. It made the BEST jam- a sweet-tart deliciousness that was my favourite. I don’t know if I’ve ever had any since.
The tree reminds me of my mother and her industriousness. Whenever the fruit ripened, she would diligently get out there and pick as many as she could before the crows and starlings cleaned off the tree. She would spend time pitting them all- individually. And then she would make preserves and jam- all while minding four children under the age of 10. You’ve got to respect that!
I don’t remember ever helping, but I do remember that my grandmother from out-of-province was there one time when the cherry harvest was on. I remember her sitting in the shade of the tree pitting brilliant red-orange fruit.
I remember sparkling, noisy aluminum pie-plates dangling in the tree in an attempt to keep the birds away. I don’t know if it worked.
I also remember that our picnic table sat in the shade of the tree, and my brother and I would play there. He liked to put on shows and I was the audience.
Best of all was going in to eat the yummy cherry jam on fresh bread when we tired of playing.
Now to find myself some sour cherries…