Cherry Invasion

Guess what? It’s cherry season in the Pacific Northwest!! Oddly enough, me and the gorgeous cherry never enjoyed one another’s company until a few years ago. I was happy to eat cherry-flavored candy, cherry pies, and cherries in canned fruit cups, but fresh from the tree? No thanks! I thought cherries were too tart. I thought their pits were creepy. Obviously I discovered that those feelings were absolute nonsense. Now I can eat a whole pound of cherries (in one sitting) and happily spit pits across the table, aiming precisely for Tim’s face. You think I’m kidding about that last bit?

Last week Tim and I went to an orchard in Hood River, OR and picked a hefty twenty pounds of cherries. Yipes! Want to know the best part? They were only $1.00 per pound and organic! What an amazing deal. Cherry picking is quite relaxing even when you have to climb a twelve foot ladder into the tippy-tops of trees. I had the advantage of being on the ladder while Tim picked from ground level.

What do you do with twenty pounds of cherries? Well, so far we have dehydrated a bunch, packed some into the freezer, and eaten heaps of them alongside all of our meals. Oh, and I made cherry brownies!

The recipe for these brownies will be in my book. Fudgy, chocolatey, cherry goodness.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy cherries? Do you have recipes you want to share? I still have a huge load in my refrigerator!

Pass the Steamy

Errrrrrrg… It’s too hot outside. I cannot wait for the end of September when Portland’s temperatures dip back down into the low 70′s and I can sit in a chair without my legs sticking to it or my underwear riding up my bum. Bleh. Summer makes me grouchy, but luckily food kinda cures the ill mood temporarily. 

First off, I promised some photos from the NW Let Live Animal Rights Conference which was held in Portland last weekend. I have something even better for you, video coverage of many of the talks/workshops!!! I know many people weren’t able to attend the conference but would have loved the opportunity to sit and listen to some amazing folks inspire and educate. Here is a link to the videos currently uploaded on Vimeo (thanks to the kind people who volunteered their time to videotape). Keep checking the site though because more videos will be added!! You can view a few of the photos I snapped on my Flickr page, here. I had such a wonderful time at the conference and I look forward to next year.

Okay now perhaps a few food photos? Alright. Tim and I started off the long weekend with some cherry picking in Hood River, OR (which is about an hour from Portland). To be honest, I was never much of a cherry-lover until maybe a month ago. It’s true. How much I wish I had been snarfing up cherries all my life – they are so good! We found a small family orchard that had u-pick cherries for $1/pound. Super deal, isn’t it? We picked Bings, Rainiers, and Lamberts. The trees were so loaded down with gorgeous red fruit we were able to pick nearly fifteen pounds in less than a half hour. Views of Mt. Hood provided a backdrop and we went early in the morning before the evil heat consumed the day. We already have several pounds in the dehydrator (I am thinking granola), some in the freezer for smoothies, and some stirred with sugar and lemon juice for cherry preserves. My fingers are purple and my belly is full to the brim with cherries. The best part of the picking was the drive home because Tim and I spit the tiny pits out the window onto the lonely highway. It isn’t really littering…

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If anybody has a favorite recipe that uses cherries, please let me know, it would be nice to try something new!

And, because it is hotter than heck, I didn’t feel like cooking much this evening. Tim and I quickly grilled some marinated tempeh and served it with perhaps my new favorite salad: Cranberry-Bulgur Salad. This salad is so simple to prepare and fast too. You can find the recipe for the salad on the awesome Full of Beans blog. Thanks Kiersten for the super delicious recipe!!!

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Pretty!

Hmmm… I guess that’s about all for now. Oh, except I have one question: Is it wrong for two people to devour an entire batch of brownies in less than 24 hours? I hope not.