June is berry month. This month, I try to keep outside activities minimal and keep our home learning schedule light so we can pick and process berries.
One thing about berries -fresh berries – is they don’t keep long. They need to be preserved in some way fairly soon after picking or they go down hill fast, becoming soggy and off color.
There weren’t enough cherries on this first picking for a dessert or to can, so I pitted them and dried them. Dried, they are a great addition to cookies. Although they are pretty sour my boys ate about half. Hopefully there will be more. I’ve learned gardening with Nebraska weather, birds, insects- you name it – never count your chickens or your cherries till they hatch. I’m always thankful for what we do manage to keep from the wiles of nature.
Beginning pitting. Since I’m drying them I want them as dry as possible. I put a little screen in the bottom of my container holding the pitted cherries so the juice runs off the cherries. When we have a bigger picking of cherries, I use my large strainer and bowl. When I was done pitting, I squeezed the cherries a little bit to get a little extra juice off. We added the juice, about half a cup, to our strawberry sauce.
in the dehydrator.
Voila! Cherry raisins.