Sunday, June 29, 2008

Life Is Just A Bowl Of...(You Know....)

Today began the “harvesting of the cherries”. No small feat for a gal who knows next to nothing about “harvesting” anything. That’s okay with me…that’s what the internet is for.

Here’s the tree (aka “The Challenge”):

As you can clearly see, we have an abundance of cherries. I don’t think I like cherries this much….seriously….neither do the boys. Take our cherries, please! I’m afraid! I’m very afraid of all the cherries….IT’S TOO MANY CHERRIES!!!!

**SLAP!** “Kathryn!! Get a hold of yourself! Pick the cherries….don’t pick the cherries…no-one cares! Don’t tie yourself in a knot over it!” Scolds the C-man. (Clinton Kelly, my IV, and at the moment, the only sane voice in my muddled head…)

“But….but…..they’re gonna go to waste…musn’t waste….Mom taught us…add water to -the bottom of the Shop-Rite-brand ketsup bottle…get the last dregs out of it….mustn’t waste….”

“I’m truly sorry, folks…it seems Kathryn’s run into a bit of a breakdown…I’m sure it’s only a temporary form of insanity.” (Turns to Kathryn, who’s got a calculator out and is trying to estimate how many cherries she’d have to pick each day to not have any rot and therefore, go to waste, on the tree…) “Hey….Do you want me to take over this post for you?”

“But….Clinton…who’s gonna pick the cherries?” Kathryn asks incredulously.

“Don’t give it a second thought. Why don’t you put this batch in the downstairs freezer and I’ll work up some sort of schedule…we’ll get it done….don’t you worry….” (Sends her downstairs with several trays of cherries…then makes a face like “Yeah, right…like that’s gonna happen.”)

Okay, ladies and gents: Clinton here. I can’t promise anywhere near the wit and talent you’ve grown accustomed to, but I’ll do my best to serve as a guest host. Just be kind…you gals are a tough bunch.

Kathryn knew she had her work cut out for her with this project. I think we’ll call this “Project Cherries”…it’s good, right? She’ll like that. Evidently, Kathryn had a dialogue with her friend Susan last night. Susan lives in Canada and co-incidentally has the same exact cherry tree as Kathryn. It’s a small world, after all.

Susan is also a “baker extraordinaire” and had informed Kathryn (in a step-by-step manner, per Kathryn’s guarded instructions) that her best bet was to begin harvesting the cherries and freeze them, to be baked at such time where Kathryn can glean the perfect recipe for Cherry-Everything, including (but not limited to) cherry pie, cherry turnovers, cherry jam and possibly even cherry soup, if possible.

2 containers, deemed suitable for cherry-harvesting were found and the picking began:

The bowl was supposed to be for any cherry that Kathryn could pick while leaving the offending pit on the tree (a technique that her friend Susan has evidently perfected and Kathryn, well, has not) and the colander was for cherries still containing pits.

Within the first few minutes, she’d forgotten which was which, so the idea was abandoned in favor of the “Let’s-just-get-‘em-picked-and-call-it-a-day” method of harvesting. (Trust me. This was better.) I think she needs to leave the fancy techniques to the professionals. Here’s a close up of a picked-over branch:

I’d say that maybe 2 out of 10 had pits removed. That’s what? 20%? Not too bad. The worst part was that she had cherry juice dripping down both arms and the yellow-jackets were beginning to swarm her.

In my defense, I told her to stop-but she’s very determined and once she starts, there’s no stopping her. I believe her self-imposed quota was 2 pies-worth.

At one point, she could be heard yelling obscenities at the offending yellow-jackets and I knew she was DONE. Unfortunately, her work was NOT. And so, armed with a handy-dandy jumbo paper clip (twisted in just a certain way, thanks once again to the ‘net) Kathryn & Connor began the arduous task of removing the pits from several hundred cherries.

After a thorough washing, they were laid out on waxed paper and laid to chill…one in each freezer. Sue says this way they won’t be a gooey-mushy-mass when Kathryn decides she’s ready to tackle the next challenge: creating something edible out of all this drama. Stay tuned.

….and she’s back. You wanna say anything, kiddo? I’ve filled everyone in on your quest.

K: “I’d just like to thank my mom…who was always there for me…and taught me how to mix powdered milk with whole milk to stretch it as far as possible so there would be nothing to go to waste….”

C: “I think she may need a nap. Say good-bye to your readers now….”

K: “Tell them if I pick 60 cherries a day…for the next 15 days…taking into account the rain…and work…and the available freezer space…I’m thinking I can supply all my friends and family with enough cherries to last them the next 2 years….”

C: “Okay, kiddo. Let’s get you out of these sticky clothes….”

K: “OH, NO! I’ve just realized….after this….it’s gonna be the PEACHES!! What am I gonna do about the PEACHES, CLINTON???”

C: “One fruit at a time, Kathryn…one fruit at a time.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I don't think Mother Nature means to put so much pressure on you, Kathryn!

Anonymous said...

Kathryn makes the meanest cherry pie on the planet!

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