Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wild Cherries, A Pretty Clean House and A New Giveaway

My mother is coming to visit in a few days so much to everyone’s delight; I decided that it’s time to clean out the fridge. I really hate to admit this, but instead of a place to cool fresh foods, all too often mine is relegated to being no more than a food graveyard. As I have grown older and wiser, I have started putting my leftovers in Ziploc bags that can easily be tossed into the trash so the likelihood of running across a well loved dish tucked in the back, full of the dreaded blue/green hair, is dramatically diminished. Well, as hard as I try not to let this happen, I still managed to run across a lovely little Cameoware dish (hey, I’ve been looking for that!) full of what appears to be a collection of mossy rocks. My best guess is that it must have at one time been either bleu cheese dressing or a cure for cancer. Either way, I quickly chased it down the disposer with the sink sprayer all the while holding my breath.

After the fridge ordeal even my next chore seemed pleasant in comparison, scrubbing the many indoor water features in our home. It seems like we spent the first part of our lives climbing up the ladder striving to have that large home with 5 toilets and now that I have it, I long for a house with only 2 or 3 to spruce up for company. Multiple toilets are highly overrated in my opinion. After cleaning my son's bath, I have decided that it should be sealed off permanently. Personally, I am suspicious that there is a family of bears sneaking in at night and using it. All I will say about my daughter’s is it would have made Sid and Nancy proud. I’ll just leave it at that and let you use your own imagination.

After dusting, vacuuming and sorting through the mountains of mail that had accumulated on our dining room furniture, everything seemed pretty much in order so my daughter and I headed up the street to pick some cherries off of our neighbor’s trees. I have to admit that upon tasting the tart little cherries I didn’t have much hope for the jam that I was planning on making, but my neighbor assured me that they were well worth the effort. We picked about three pounds and brought them home and spent hours pitting them before we started our jam making process. I had made jam before many moons ago, but not often enough to have a great recipe down pat so I hit Google for help. After pouring over several recipes, I decided to use David Lebovitz’s as a base because I like the idea of reducing it down instead of using packaged pectin. I cooked the cherries and added the sugar and instantly my whole house smelled of cherry pie, hmmmm, delightful. My neighbor was right; they are well worth the effort. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try sometime. You can either freeze the finished jam or if you are adventurous, process the jars for extended shelf life but either way you’ll have a taste of summer all year long.



Tart Cherry Jam

3 pounds tart cherries, pitted and stemmed (once pitted this yielded about 6 cups of cherries and juice for me)
Zest and juice of 1 – 2 lemons
4-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup Serrano pepper or 1/4 cup Habanera pepper, thinly sliced across with seeds and membranes (optional)

Coarsely chop about 2/3 of the cherries and then place all of the cherries with their juice and the lemon zest and juice in a large stockpot over medium heat. Cook until cherries are soft and cooked, approximately 20 minutes.

Add sugar and simmer over medium to medium high heat, stirring frequently until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. If you would like to make a Tart Cherry Pepper Jam, stir in the Serrano peppers at this time and cook for just a few minutes longer. Place a small white plate in the freezer to chill. Remove the jam from the heat and place a spoonful of jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer for a few minutes. After a couple of minutes, push your finger through the jam. If the jam is thick and “wrinkles” on the end of your finger it is done. If not, return it to the heat and cook for a few minutes longer and repeat. You want your jam to be thick but not too thick so cook it in short increments of time and test it often. When it is done, add the almond extract if desired.

Pour jam into very clean dry jars and either freeze or process in a water bath for approximately 5 minutes before storing for later enjoyment.

This recipe yields about 8 – 8 ounce jars of jam.

My newest CSN Giveaway

The folks at CSN have once again given me a $60.00 gift card to give to one of my lucky followers. Just leave me a comment and I'll throw your hat into the ring. If you're not already a follower, I'd love to have you click on the "Follow" button and join my blog. I'll be chosing a winner on August 10th in honor of my son's first day of school. YAY!

Welcome to those of you who found my giveaway listed on Online-Sweepstakes.com.

163 comments:

Jessica said...

I want to win! I am a follower of the blog on my blog reader already although I don't know if it shows up in the "followers" column.

My husband has almost no sense of smell so he almost always cleans out the fridge.

CardioBunny said...

I found your blog via Online Sweepstakes and am now following via GFC and Bloglines. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

cardiobunny✿at✿ymail✿dot✿com

McKim said...

I would love to win this. I would use it to buy my grandson a John Deere Bookshelf.

cstironkat said...

I found you thru online-sweepstakes.com and I would love to get a new crock pot.

peg42 said...

I'm a follower (rickpeggysmith)
These CSN stores have so many great items. I'd love to win.
Thanks so much for this chance.
rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

Kiara said...

I would love to win this!
austma7@aol.com

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

follower and would love to win

abfantom said...

I'm an GFC follower.

I have ordered from CSN in past and would love to win a CSN GC.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

suburban prep said...

I am a new follower.
I have gotten lost on the CSN site because they have so much merchandise.

Nancy said...

I love cherries and just brought a lot back from my trip home so I am going to give that jam a try. As for having a clean house....I am leaving that for another day:)

Courtney said...

i'm a blog follower! thanks for the amazing chance!

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Pets and their people said...

I found you on OLS and am a follower. Would love to win and get the new programmable crockpot I have been drooling over.

Anonymous said...

I'm following via GFC. If I would win I would buy me some new feather pillows.
kathyluman@gmail dot com

Tj and Amy said...

great giveaway! count me in!!. amypugmire@live.com

llinda29 said...

I follow

Barbara said...

I follow up and would like to win. I want to make the wild cherry preserves.

clm153 said...

I need a new blender.

Stephanie said...

my little boy needs a new car seat so this would be wonderful
tvollowitz at aol dot com

Michelle said...

Keeping my fingers crossed! Also following your blog.

blackbearpie@aol.com

midwesttomidlands said...

I don't think I am eligilbe to win, but that's OK. I am not cleaning toilets - but sorting through the house and have too much stuff I don't need. Well I mean I do clean toilets, just not today! Great idea about putting leftovers in zip locks.
Your jam looks great.

Aisling said...

I follow you through GFC and I'd put this toward a Simple Human stainless steel trash can.

Anonymous said...

HORTON111@AOL.COM

I COULD USE THIS TO BUY NEW BEDDING OR SOMETHING FOR THE OUTDOORS LIKE A BENCH OR A FOUNTAIN

buzzd said...

I want to win so I can get the cuisinart ice cream maker

lsfish said...

I would love to get this bakeware set Le Creuset 9" Square Baking Dish with Bonus 5" Baking Dish in Caribbean - PG071523-17

The Sunshyn said...

Thank you for offering such a fantastic giveaway.
I'm following your blog.

Denise S. said...

I follow and I might like to get the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper.

mickeyfan said...

I'd love the City Scene Branches French Blue Bed in a Bag.

Bacallsmom said...

Following you with Google Friend Connect (Bacallsmom).
bbentry [at] aol [dot] com

tawnda said...

I'm one of the OLS 'crew' and a new GFC follower... ;-)

Penny said...

I follow the blog now (found it through OLS).

I wonder if that jam recipe would work well with raspberries.

Alicia said...

GFC follower

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

bloggyig at gmail dot com

Mom Caboodle said...

I love CSN!! I follow your blog via Google Friend Connect.


shanna at mom caboodle dot com

sksweeps said...

Too bad I don't have access to cherries! I'll have to make do with my blackberries and blackberry jam instead. I use the 'reduce' instead of pectin as well.

sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

Deborah said...

We reduced our house size when we moved to the country, and I can tell you that it's much easier and faster sprucing the place up when company's coming. Of course, that doesn't help much with the mystery packages in the fridge, but I'm adopting your ziplock idea for that. asthenight at gmail dot com

stowelljg said...

Thanks for the recipe for the Tart Cheery Jam. Yum! I bought a Montmorency cherry tree at Kmart many years ago and it gives me a lot of cherries every season. I used to use a paperclip to pit the cherries, but I purchased a cherry pitter, which make the job much easier and faster.

Thanks for the chance to win the CSN Stores gift card and good luck on your son's first day of school (always a traumatic event for everyone involved).

h. mcnaron said...

The cherry jam looks yummy! I would try some on pancakes too,
I follow on gfc. Thanks!

hmcnaron at gmail

Velva said...

I can totally relate to the refrigerator clean-up. My whole adult life i have vowed not waste my leftovers. I have not been successful as yet. I am still tossing unidentifiable items from my refrigerator on a regular basis.

Bathrooms? I get that too. I have two sons and I agree the bathrooms should be permanently sealed off- No one should be subjected to their bathrooms.

I had never seen a cherry tree before this Summer. I thought I died and went to heaven. The cherries were ranier cherries and I could have eaten them until I was sick.

I am follower! I have been following you but, I made it official in your Google connect. Count me in on a chance to win your giveaway.

Ms. Autumn said...

love to win this

autumn398 @ yahoo.com

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

I hope you retired with a stiff drink after all this domestic goddessness.

Maybe you could just start putting your leftovers in ziploc bags and then immediately throwing them in the bin? ;)

Super Blogger Girl! said...

im a follower, please toss my very cute and sassy hat into the ring.

jennifer.lleras@gmail.com

littlelatina said...

enter me thanks

snowluvnferret said...

I am a new follower on GFC

rugerpuppies at hotmail dot com

Missybeez said...

I would love to win and buy a waffle maker.


honeybeez80@yahoo.com

barbara.montyj said...

I'm a blog follower!
CSN is a wonderful online site to shop - Thank you!
barbara.montyj at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Following the blog via GFC.
The CSN Stores Cookware section caught my eye! Hmm, i'm thinking ahead here. . .

panicxduh[at]yahoo[dot]com

jlafount said...

I'd go with a Mylex Three-Shelf Bookcase - Oak - 42210

jlafount @ hotmail dot com

Nicole said...

I'm a new follower! Enter me please!!

marcia goss said...

I'm a follower, and I'd love to win the gift card. Thanks for the giveaway.
marcia.goss@gmail.com

Linda said...

I follow you on GFC and I would love to win the GC!
mintstatesportswear(at)juno(dot)com

dawns41 said...

I am a Google follower so please toss my hat into the ring. There are a few items I have my eye on at csn stores.

dawns_horizen@yahoo.com

April said...

I love the CSN website, so many choices!

teenytig@sbcglobal.net

Joy said...

I follow and I love this store.
magic5905@embarqmail.com

Sami H said...

I follow! I love the recipe! I think I'm going to use it too! Hopefully, I won't mess it up!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for a great contest!

crystalf said...

I would love to get a new swing for our swingset. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jenn S. said...

Would love to get a waffle iron, I have always wanted one!

Melissa B. said...

I follow! I would buy the Traveler's Choice Amsterdam 2 Pc Carry - On Luggage Set in Burgundy if I won!

ky2here said...

I follow on google friend connect as kycouple2000. This would be perfect for the fiesta(ware). I'm getting a mix and match canister.

ky2here at msn dot com

Debbie C said...

I love shopping at CSN!
I follow on Google Friend Connect. (Debbie C)

katybaby said...

I'd love to win!
Follow you on GFC (katybaby)
Katyjv1988(@)yahoo(dot)com

Mooseman said...

follow via GFC.
thanks 4 the chance 2 win!
(E-mail in profile)

clc408 said...

Following on gfc and would love to pick out some new lighting fixtures at CSN

Laura said...

I would love to win and get the Winsome Basics Wine Cart

mogrill said...

I would put it toward a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.
Thanks for the chance.
mogrill@comcast.net

idahomom said...

I get overwhelmed when a shop at csnstores. There is so much to choose from.

LittleEagle said...

I love CSN. There customer service is fantastic.

sharonaquilino at hotmail dot com

Hoa said...

Following your blog via GFC!
I would love to win this prize! Thanks for the giveaway!

alittlepieceofheaven777(at)yahoo(dot)com

paula michele said...

I've never made jam or jelly. Last year, I made and canned a bunch of Pumpkin Butter. This summer, I've made and canned enough pickles for a small army :) I'm a follower.

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

Jennifer M said...

I'm a follower already and I frequent OLS.

rah267 said...

higgs.rachel at gmail.com
I follow

clynsg said...

Found this on OLS, now follow via GFC, and could certainly use a CSN gift card!

cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

susitravl said...

Love your blog - now I want some cherry jam! I'm following your blog via GFC

Chisum's Crew said...

I follow (happi shopr) and love the recipe. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

Jamie said...

I don't think I've ever had cherry jam - it sounds delicious!

I'm a new follower on GFC, thanks for the opportunity to win :)

Deb said...

I follow your blog on google friend connect and I'd love some Nordicware baking pans and I especially like Nordicware Platinum Butterfly Cake Pan. Thanks for the giveaway.

Julieh said...

I'm a follower on google friend, and I'd love to win! honeypie411 at yahoo dot com

Leslie said...

I'm already a blog follower. Thanks for the entry!

MAT said...

would love to win this. would use it to buy my son a John Deere Bookshelf.

sinhead83 at hotmail dot com

Molly K said...

I became a follower. I can't wait to try your recipe. It sounds great.

Shellie said...

If I won I would get a posture computer chair. Thanks for your generosity.
fatmeatloaf1@gmail dot com

sjt42075 said...

i would love to win they have a lot of great stuff

Anonymous said...

I found your blog on online-sweepstakes : ) and am so glad I did. I planted a garden this year with high hopes of canning tomatoes, only to be disapointed with all the insects eating my tomatoes! Oh, and I just cleaned my fridge and I hate to admit, but it was disgusting! I hate that chore!! I am now a follower of your blog with GFC(Lona728) and look forward to reading it.

Lona728@ yahoo dot com

thatlittlehouse said...

I'm a follower and i'd love to have the Rowenta Auto-Steam Iron

nblexp at gmail dot com

Jeannine said...

Nice giveaway :)

Joanne Gregory said...

I would love to win this! Thank you for offering it!!

jednc @ hotmail. com

KowgirlsRule said...

I follow via Google Reader. I have been wanting a new set of flatwear, so that is what I would buy with my GC.

ms-texas said...

i am a new follower via GFC!
I love CSN stores!

debbiebellows[at]gmail[dot]com

Wendy said...

Great giveaway- good luck to your son on his first day of school! I am also following your blog through Google.

shel772 said...

CSN has so many things I want, but I would start with the mini loaf pan set.

Tara said...

I am new blog follower. Over from OLS. I really do need to clean my fridge. Jealous that your kiddos go back Monday, we have 2 more weeks

Amanda said...

The fridge gets so nasty so quickly! Mine gets full of tiny cat hairs and I'm like, WHYHOW? I'm pretty sure they aren't capable of opening it up and scavenging for food, but that would explain a few things.

Thanks for the giveaway chance! I'm a follower!

breanna said...

i'm a follower! my kiddo is getting ready for her big girl bed, so we really need some sheets!

thanks for a great giveaway!!

tattwo said...

I love window shopping at CSN, I can dream, can't I? Thanks for the giveaway.

Deb said...

I found you through OLS. Would love to win this.

msrodeobrat said...

i am following as msrodeobrat
addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

melinda said...

I love to shop the CSN stores.They have variety of items.

Erica C. said...

I'm a GFC follower :)
There are so many things I could splurge on at CSN!

Benita said...

Great giveaway! I'd love to get a food processor. This would sure help.

I'm a follower.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

TXsunlover said...

I already follow on GFC and I love CSN Stores! Every time I browse it seems I find something new that I didn't see the last time.
Thanks for the chance to win!
proudyaya04 {at} yahoo {dot} com

souldolphindream said...

I am a new follower at souldolphindream

I have had my eye on a mirror there for awhile!
souldolphindream@aol.com

mail4rosey said...

They just upped my child's start day for school, but he is on vacation and now will miss the first two days. Grr. What were they thinking???

But I'm glad your child's schedule is on course.

msurosey@yahoo.com

momznite said...

The Tart Cherry Jam looks delicious! I'm a GFC follower and would be excited to win a CSN Stores gift certificate!
momznite_at_yahoo_daught_com

Kathryn said...

This is a wonderful giveaway! kzebrowski@gmail.com

annemarie562000 said...

I would love to win! I follow via Google.

annemarie562000(at)yahoo(dot)com

loni said...

I already follow you on GFC!

trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

Claire said...

I'm a follower! Thanks for the giveaway!

kaleidoscopequeen at gmail dot com

Jennai said...

I believe I also found you on OLS. I am a new follower and I would love to win and get me some brand new Rachael Ray pans!
HobartsMama {AT} AOL.COM

Kate said...

This would be great, esp since my brother's bday is coming up!! I am already a follower on GFC!

strycker@slu.edu

Salleefur/Jesslyn/Jesster said...

First FIRST Day ever? Wow - THAT is a biggie and I wish you and yours all the best!

New Follower via Google and yes, indeed did find you on Online-Sweepstakes.

Happy School New Year!

jessterlyn(at)aol(dot)com

(Salleefur/Jesslyn/Jesster)

Louis said...

enter me please, thank you for the giveaway

Following publicly as Louis on Google Friends Connect

Mimi the kitten said...

I follow. Thank you for the chance to win, and God bless you! :-)

Katie R. said...

I would love to buy some new cookware.

Dancehottie1621@aol.com

bridget3496 said...

That jam not only looks but sounds amazing! I'd love to win this giveaway! Thanks for the chance =)


brdgcombs at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Another OLS'er here! I follow you on GFC and I'd love to win! I would get some toys for my kids!
Pudyqat2 {at} aol.com

Renee G said...

I'm a new follower on GFC as Renee G.
Your jam looks yummy.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Tanya from HometownExpert.ORG said...

I'm going to try the cherry recipe--I have some tart cherries on the tree the backyard, and the idea of pairing that taste with the hot pepper intrigues me.....

I'm also following via GFC
Thanks!
Tanya C
spiderdevo8 AT hotmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I'd like to win so I can get a variety of exercise equipment like a chest expander, hand grips, and weight gloves.

flashlight13114 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Rachel said...

wow you did such a fantastic job! our family mostly does jelly but i'd love to try this recipe out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the contest.
missywins at yahoo dot com

Rebecca said...

Now a follower and would love to win this! They have so many great things to choose from!

beckyspoolstra at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and i am lovin the recipes you have. I am now following you on google. Hope to see more of your recipes. If i win i gonna get me a kitchen gadget to help me make these jams

waitressdani (at) hotmail (dot) com

Pamela S said...

Lots of great items at CSN. I'd love to win a shopping spree there. Found you at online sweepstakes. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)aol(DOT)com

scarter305 said...

I am going to get my dog the Big Shrimpy dog bed from CSN. Thanks.

scarter305 at aol dot com

Ardy22 said...

I am following you (ardy22)

I would love to have a shopping spree there!

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

slehan said...

I like the Silicone Solutions 5 Piece Burgundy Bakeware Set. Thanks for the contest.

kimbly said...

I'm a GFC follower


kimbly at g mail dot com

Betty C said...

I just found your blog through online-sweepstakes. Thanks for the jam recipe. I think I'll be trying it soon.

Betty C said...

Yes, I'm following you too.

Anonymous said...

new follower ty.
vivianbl@olg.com

kakihara said...

follower
I would love to win--I want to get my husband a Cuisinart ice cream maker!
kakihararocks@gmail.com

MAC Mom said...

I added myself as a follower.

My husband helps me and cleans the fridge out for me.

Jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

lpnshortygurl said...

Thank you very much for the opportunity to win :) I am glad I found your site!

Tracey said...

I fovia GFC. I have my eye on several things at CSN.
traymona[at]aol.com

Michelle B said...

I already follow your blog on GFC
thanks for the chance to win
angelsspot(at)hotmail(dot)com

FDP 4 Life said...

i am a follower and i could really use that gift card, thank you for the giveaway
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Mom2anutball said...

I follow you! Thanks for the giveaway, we love CSn stores!

fineinsanity {at} live {dot} com

susan1215 said...

I'm a follower and found you through Online Sweepstakes. I would get some new cookware if I won,

s2s2 at comcast dot net

amyd said...

So many things to choose from on csn would really like it,thanks!
follow amydelong
ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

Leslie said...

Thanks for the chance to win! Your blog is great, and I'll keep reading!

-Leslie
shmoopie13(at)yahoo(dot)com

lisa said...

Hello I am a new follower-I could really use a new lamp. msmith572@yahoo.com

dddiva said...

I recently found your blog (yay) and am a follower- I've got to admit to my fair share of science projects in the fridge. Ahh well, someone has to provide entertainment for the perfectionists, eh? ;)

Thanks for a chance to win the GC.

Hotsnotty2 said...

I love CSN, thanks for the chance to win!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

degood said...

I follow your blog as degood with google friend connect and I love CSN. Thanks for the chance to win!

kerrie@mayansfamily.com

Karen F said...

Love your blog girl and would love to win!!!

Gianna said...

I have a cars recliner I have my eyes on for my kids :)

kathy pease said...

following your blog as klp1965

Thank you for the Great giveaway please count me in :)

klp1965@myfairpoint.net

Valancia said...

I do follow you now and I'd love to get something for my kitchen as I'm in need of alot of that type of stuff.
skyxsky27(at)gmail.com

Breanne said...

I follow! I've been wanting a platform bed from them for a while

bmweida at yahoo dot com

brianpiero said...

Thanks for the giveaway...!!!

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

GFC Follower: Brian E.

Anonymous said...

Found you through online sweeps, I sure could use a new coffee pot.

bbrittbrat1398 said...

I would love to buy an excersize ball from them because i'm trying to get in shape and any little bit helps...

BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com

Miranda Ward said...

I follow your blog :)

Chrystal said...

Great giveaway!

Follow publicly via Google Friend Connect (Chrystal)

chrystaljns @ gmail dot com

Jes said...

Follow via GFC. Cool giveaway!

jswaks at gmail dot com

Sarah Z said...

Would love one of their woks!
Thanks - Sarah Z
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

Bakersdozen said...

They have so many items that I like. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

purango said...

I love CSN. Thanks for the giveaway. garrettsambo@aol.com

OneDayItWillBeAlright said...

I'm following you on GFC. Would love to win this.

OneDayItWillBeAlright said...

PS

Happy First Birthday to you Son

Atreau said...

I'm a GFC follower.

Katie said...

I'm a new follower...thanks for the chance to win!

kt1969 at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I have just found you blog and now follow you on GFC as Chris.
I love cherry jam, yours looks so good.
I also love CSN stores. I have found several porch lights in their lighting store that have caught my eye.
Your son will have a great time at school.
Thanks for the chance.
Chris
treehouse.queen18(atyahoodotcom)

Heather said...

I follow via gfc as /\Heather/\

Karen Harris said...

Random.org chose dddiva as my winner for this giveaway. I loved reading your comments and really appreciate all of my followers and wish I would have only had 162 GCs to give away instead of just one. Please stay tuned for my next giveaway!