Yesterday, I took the kids berry picking. We hadn't been to the u-pick berry patch in a couple of years, but we headed over there to give it a try. When we pulled in, I saw the owner tending his large garden/small farm, but things looked different. No berry baskets. No money box. I approached him to ask him if he was open for business, but he didn't seem to hear very well. After some confusion, he told me that he had closed down over a year ago--"I don't sell anything anymore," he said--but that he supposed we could pick what we wanted and just take it. He gave us a bucket and a brief tour of the ripe berries--being alternately cheerful and gruff--and then told us to have fun.
We filled a big bucket of cherries (Bing and Rainier), and we filled some cups with raspberries and blackberries. I wish I'd had a camera to take a picture of the kids in the cherry orchard. The branches drooped with fruit.
When we finished, I tried to give him a $20, but he waved me off. I didn't push my luck to ask if we could come back, but I sort of wish I had. I mean, what is he going to do with all of that fruit?
I'll tell you what we did with it. We came home and made this:
And after we made that, we still had this:
So now I'm thinking of canning some brandied cherries. But the recipe calls for six pounds of cherries, and I don't have a single scale in the house, which is probably why I'm willing to eat this:
I suppose I can guess how much six pounds is by comparing it to the five pound bag of sugar I just bought. Or I could drink some brandy first, and then just guess.