I read this article on Sweet Paul Magazine (a must read for great photography and food lovers) and I am quoting it here. It really struck a cord with me as I had a very similar experience with my grandma and her apple tree. Perhaps it is the innocence and wonder of youth, but I can’t eat an apple pie now without thinking of her. Funny how none of them can compare to hers.
“Jars Filled with Summer
“My grandmother’s cherry tree and her jam.
“When I was a kid we had a huge old cherry tree growing outside our house. My grandfather planted it when he bought the house and it had reached the roof when I was born. It was so beautiful and really the talk of the neighborhood.
“As a kid I could stand at my bedroom window eathing cherries. They were warm, sweet and juicy. My grandmohter and great aunt would pick the tree every summer and turn the cherries into jam. The whole house would smell sweet for weeks. They filled up our pantry with not only cherry jam, but strawberry jam, apple chutney, apple sauce and lots more. All winter we had jars filled with summer.
“That’s what my grandmother would say: ‘Paul, lets go down to the pantry and get a jar of summer.’
“She would use the jam as filling in pies, serve it with roeasted chicken and simple spread it with butter on freshly made waffles. The sad thing in all this is that a few years later the whole treeneeded to be taken down. The roots started to ruin the foundation of the house and simple had to be cut away. I remember my grandmother crying when they did it. I’m sure she had lots of happy memories of the tree.
“To this day I still call a pot of cherry jam ‘a jar of summer’ and I make it every year, the same old recipe that she used. And now I’m passing it on to all of you. Enjoy!”
Mormor’s Cherry Jam
Makes 4 8oz jars
4 cups whole sweet cherries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
1. Rinse the cherries weill. 2. Pit and chop up the cherries and place in a large saucepan. 3. Add lemon juice, lime juice, rum, pectin and sugar. 4. Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. 5. Sterilize your jars by boiling in water for 4 minutes. 6. Ladle the jot jam into he jars, seal with the lids. 7. Place in a large saucepan with a little water on the bottom. 8. Place the cans inside and let them “cook” for 5 minutes. 9. Let them cool, they’ll be ready after 24 hours. 10. Store in a cool place.
As summer is finally beginning to hit Utah, I can’t wait to go buy some fresh cherries and give this recipe a try. I too want a little jar filled with summer.