Good morning to all. I suppose you are wondering what cherries has to do with Memorial Day.
Well it all began this week with the price of cherries at a local fruit market...cherries this week are $1.69 a pound, which is a pretty good price on those tasty little treats. I hadn't realized how much I had missed them and what sort of history I had with them. As I have snacked on the cherries this week...thinking about the benefits that cherries have...especially for me, since they are good for arthritis. It brought back memories of my childhood.
When I was a child, I was raised by by grandmother and mom. Grandma would always make jellies and jams throughout the year with whatever was in season. Cherry jelly was always one of my favorites. She would prepare a number of jars and always leave a small tester bowl out next to the homemade bread on top of the space heater which sat right next to the stove. We could stop anytime during the day and slice some bread and spread on some butter and jam. Oh, those were the days. Fresh and delicious. I thought about the years I spent putting up preserves and decided I should put u a couple of jars. Great for all summer and how good it will taste come winter on some pancakes or ice cream.
The more I thought about cherries...it brought to mind a Aunt of mine. Aunt Eleanor was married to my Uncle George. She came fro a Germanic background...different than our Polish/American background. Now the background doesn't make much difference except that she made different types of foods than we were used to. She made Cherry Soup. I used to go to their house to spend time with my boy cousins. They had an enormous pool and it was ready come Memorial Day. I loved swimming more than anything, bu I must say, aunt Eleanor's soup was the icing on the cake. I would always ask whether she was making it and of course her answer was always "only if you are willing to pick the cherries"! Well, you bet I was! My cousins didn't really care one way or the other...but at eat they brought out the ladder for me to climb. I would put on my Aunt's bib apron and up I would go with my basket. I would pick what seemed like an eternity, but the reward of Cherry Soup was worth the sacrifice. And after all I had plenty of time left t go swimming with the boys. Years went by and when I became an adult, I was looking through some recipe books and lo and behold...there in one of the church cookbooks...was Aunt Eleanor's Cherry Soup Recipe. I used to make it when I worked as a cook in a rectory in Chicago. I loved it even then....I think it will be on this week's menu as well.
Now I bet you would think I wouldn't have any more stories on cherries, but surprise!
When I got married, my mother-in-law taught me how to make Cherry liquor. She said that it was an old time remedy for an upset stomach. So once again, I found myself pitting cherries and placing them with sugar in a large glass gallon jar. Into the sun they would go and with a few more processes, Voila....Cherry liquor. My mother-in-law and her stomach were happy, and I added one more thing to my homemade recipe list.
When you think about cherries...you cannot help to remember George Washington and the cherry tree story. Seems like Memorial Day and cherries go hand in hand, after all George Washington was a soldier as well.
I hope you enjoyed this journey back into my past. I hope you will perhaps munch on a few of those delightful treats and remember the days gone by...when the aroma of cooked cherries wafted through the air in some form of delightful treats.