Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bourbon Cherries


Are you sick of cherries, yet? I hope not, there's at least one or two more recipes in my arsenal at the moment.  I want you to remember this moment, when you're so done with cherries and have moved on the blueberries and raspberries in the heart of summer. I want you to remember it, so when it's January, and you'd love to be eating those babies fresh from the trees, you'll forget about ever being sick of them. Luckily, you can continue to enjoy them through the winter, maybe in a spicy, warming, drink, perhaps?


I knew I wanted at least two quarts of bourbon cherries for the winter. They're potent, they warm you up, they're fantastic in a Manhattan. The husband and I, we're in our thirties. We own a home, and it seems once we bought that home, our days of carousing came to an end. I'm sure many of you can relate. One moment, every weekend there's a bash, a bar to go to, a restaurant to try out, and then, there's the couch, a blankie, a perfectly mixed Manhattan, and in our case, a few well-placed pugs on our laps. I don't want us to sound lame, because we still try out restaurants, still see our friends constantly, but the "going out" portion isn't what it used to be, and that's OK.


It's OK because there are few things in life I love better than making something comforting, cracking open a bottle of red, and watching the snow fly outside our 1935 Craftsman bungalow. It's precisely those evenings where I feel alright with the world. The husband and I, we watch movies, we chat, we cook together, we talk to the pugs (yes, we're nuts). I'm a huge advocate for the idea that it is the small things in life that make the biggest impact.

So while your A/C is pumping out cool relief, while you're spending your days at the beach, while the cherry trees still have a few little red pops of joy available for picking, take a few moments to preserve those pieces of summer for those perfect little moments in the dead of winter. Enjoy.


Bourbon Cherries
(printable recipe)

Yield: 6 - 1/2 pint jars or 3 pint jars
Source: Adapted and reduced from WineBookGirl who adapted from The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics. 

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds pitted cherries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups bourbon
Instructions:
  1. Sterilize and warm your jars and lids.
  2. Heat water, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and lemon juice over high heat until at a boil.
  3. Simmer 5-10 minutes to let the spices infuse.
  4. Allow mixture to cool just slightly, and add bourbon.
  5. When the mixture is cooling, pack cherries into warm jars.
  6. Ladle bourbon mixture over your cherries, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
  7. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. 
  8. Allow to sit for at least two weeks before consuming.
Pickling cucumbers ready for pickling!

Lighter and Local: The Height of Summer

We are here, the height of the summer in New England. Green tomatoes are filling and weighting down every vine and branch, cucumbers are falling off their plants, and corn by the truckload can be found at every market. I chose to head to one my local farms today instead of my weekly farmers' market. Tendercrop Farm in Newbury, MA. is fantastic. Not only can I pick up all the locally-grown produce I need, they also raise their own cows, chickens, and turkeys. They also bake bread there, and make spreads, and pickle their own vegetables. It's an amazing place. 

For $25 at Tendercrop Farm this week I took home:
  • 1.5 pounds specially marinated chicken breast
  • 1.25 pounds of grass-fed ground beef
  • 5 peaches
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • several bunches of spinach
  • 1/2 dozen ears of corn
  • 1 bunch young onions
  • and the awesome get, they were giving away up to 10 pickling cucumbers for free! So, of course, I took home 10 to make pickles! 

What I'm planning to make this week:
  • The ground beef became "taco night" for Sunday night
  • The spinach will go into salads all week for dinners at work
  • The chicken breast will head on the grill to be served with the corn, and some macaroni salad
  • The blueberries will combine with yogurt and granola for breakfasts. 

What I'm preserving this week:
  • My 10 small pickling cucumbers yielded about 5 pints of pickle to "put up".
  • I had some leftover (not enough brine for them) cucumbers that we chopped up, tossed with dill and chives from our garden, red pepper flakes, and doused with rice wine vinegar, tossed and covered and put in the fridge. They'll be slightly pickled and it makes a nice side item for the week. 
  • We'll never eat 6 ears of corn, 3 of them will be stripped, and the kernels frozen for later use. 



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5 comments:

Terra said...

When I was younger, a friend of the family made cherries similar to these. They were my favorite treat! I need to save this recipe and make them someday:-) These sound amazing:-) Take care, Terra

Wendy said...

Loving all your bourbon spiked fruit!  I've been away and I'm sure cherries are long gone, but I'm enjoying yours vicariously!

Charlotte said...

Can you post your Manhattan recipe to go with the cherries? :)

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

But of course :-) I follow my grandmother's recipe, however, she preferred brandy to bourbon. I go with bourbon.


2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Dash of angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry (or in this case, a bourbon cherry!)Combine all (but the cherry) in a shaker with ice, but don't shake, just stir, pour into a cocktail glass, top with your cherry!

Charlotte said...

Thanks!  Can't wait to try it.