My husband, John and I went Chokecherry picking this past weekend and for the next couple of days, after work, I have been busy "putting up" (or canning) chokecherries! Chokecherries grow wild here in Nebraska and we even have a Chokecherry Festival in Sargent every year - chokecherry pit spitting contest and all!!
Here is a picture of the chokecherry bush.
The bushes grow wild in the ditches and some years are better than others as far as how much fruit is on the bushes.
This is a photo of the cherries, after we picked them - they are about the size of a pea and they have a hard pit inside. At this stage they are very bitter if you bite into one!
The next thing you have to do is extract the juice. You boil the cherries and then run them through a sieve it separates the pit and skin from the juice. This takes some muscle!!
After you extract the juice you are ready to start cooking!!
I made chokecherry jelly and syrup to keep and give as gifts at Christmas. It is delicious!
Oops! This picture isn't very clear but you can see how many jars I got! My family was disappointed though, every jar sealed so there weren't any rejects to taste!! We may have to open some soon :) You can also make chokecherry pie, chokecherry cobbler, chokecherry kolaches all kinds of creations!
While we were picking chokecherries, my husband surprised me with these:
Have a great day!!