"Take this home with you!" my friend told me a few months ago, with a touch of desperation, as she pressed a jar of cherry jam into my hand. Unable to let the windfall of last year's cherry crop go to waste, she'd committed the preserving sin of making way too much jam and had gotten utterly sick of eating it.
"This year we're going to have a party, instead," she promised. "Everyone can come pick, and everyone can take some jam home with them."
And so, last weekend, that's just what we did.
After a few days of good rain the ground was super soggy, but that did not deter us.
The small ones helped for a few minutes, holding bowls and plucking cherries off of any branch they could convince an adult to tug down for them.
Then they left to play and the serious pickers got started.
The wet ground made ladders a bit precarious, but these two are always up for a manly challenge!
And then, there were a few hours of pitting and mixing and nibbling as we made jam. (We used the recipe in this book, which is spiked with Amaretto--so delicious!)
And everyone took home about six jars of jam. Just the right amount to enjoy and hopefully use up by this time next year so that we can party again.