Open season: Plans for Pies

 View from Dalrymple Farms, Ball Diamond Road, Hector, NY. 07.01.2013

View from Dalrymple Farms, Ball Diamond Road, Hector, NY. 07.01.2013

This morning was the season opener for Cherries! Yes, you know the scene with opening day for Fishing Season. Cars parked all along the side of the street--solid-- with mommies and grandmommies (predomininately) scurrying around with buckets and baskets, gleaning red and golden fruit from all the heavily laden boughs. We were laughing and delightedly telling each other what we were going to make, how we were going to make it and coming up with new ideas. Pies were on the short list as were cobblers and preserves. My interest lies in the creation of infusions which we talked about at lengths. What to use as the base? how to treat the fruit? Different bases for different uses. Of course there are cherries for granita and ice. For conserve (for hams and salty meats), and of course there is the fun mix of fruit and savory.

Our friends ate quite a bit--tasting each tree and offering commentary on which was the best and why. They ate and ate...smiling and talking and at the end, patting their very skinny tummies and talking about the repercussions of too many cherries on a body. They were planning their assault of their pile of red fruit...what to make and when. How to parse the cherries into the now and future delight.  Kitty had a friend who sang quite loudly (tunefully!) and leapt into the tree like he was engineered to do so, pulling down fruit hanging from one arm. The Grandmommies had never seen anything quite like that. As it was a damp and humid morning with the hint of rain--and little spits of drizzle, it kept many of the less than hard core home--planning for the break in the weather.  No Amish at 7:30 a.m. ( I think the rain had them waiting)...and there wasnt a heavy duty use of ladders (quite yet).  We went up the hill to weigh our prize-- and we picked 45 pounds of cherries between three groups of us to work with. Could just be a starter...we will see. So, if we have a chance and need more cherries for the projects, another trip might not be for naught.

I guess a year off, for these trees (due to the cold snap in 2012 that killed most of the cherry and apple crops in the Finger Lakes), all the stored energy pushed out blooms to beat the band making the branches tip downwards with the amazing growth of big berries.