Just a little getaway, not too far from home, to a favorite place of mine: Door County, Wisconsin. I told DH on the way up that assuming I’m not 100 when I’m widowed (this would be highly unlikely), I will move up there. I would love living by the water, if I did nothing more than sit by a large picture window with a book and perhaps a throw, reading and watching the dramatic changes in the sky and water. A dream.
We have a choreography of daily living that has been refined over nearly 23 years of marriage. We know each other. We expect certain behavior. Approaching the town of Alaska, WI, he says “Isn’t it getting awfully cold?” and I say “We’re too far north!” Almost simultaneously. Every time we make the trip. It feels good and comfortable and secure to visit the same places, talk about the changes, recall good times. We are a simple people!
In addition to the much-needed changes of pace and scenery, our goal was to bring home cherries for the freezer. And we did: 45 pounds of them, picked in just one hour, each of us picking from just one tree. You don’t need to pay a lot of attention to what you’re doing — it’s not as if you have to search out ripe cherries. (But why does it seem like the perfect ones are just out of reach, or perhaps on the next tree?) Bucket tied to your waist, you can grab six or eight or ten cherries with each hand. So there’s lots of time for thinking and dreaming.
“Is your bottom covered yet?” is the expected call from DH a few trees down, as we compete to fill our three buckets each. The proprietor of Falcon Orchard, Marifern Hill, runs a tiny operation, comparatively speaking, but we love going there. She knows her fruit, and we are assured that we’ll arrive home with the cherries in great condition. Luckily this year we had an extra cooler for pop that we could use, as we hadn’t figured on the cherries filling more than our usual cooler. This year I shared a recipe with her, for a change: Cherry Applesauce, which is really as simple as it sounds. When the apples are ready (and I am counting on a bountiful harvest!), we make quite a bit of applesauce for the freezer. Pork chops and homemade applesauce — nothing better.
It took less than 2 hours to pit all the cherries and pack them in quart freezer bags — 20 of them. I spent about half the time aggravated because something was amiss with our pitter; I was mashing the cherries instead of pitting them. Then I discovered that the spring was mangled. I modified my technique, which required lots of arm work and, later, two Advil.
So now we are home, laundry on the line, guests coming over for supper, cherry cake for dessert. I am blessed.