Inspired by this recipe, Diane and I embarked on a flat of cherries. Recipe calls for one pound for a jar. I didn't weigh the flat, but we pooped out at 7 jars and there's a bunch left over for some jamming. 2011 may prove to be the summer of cherries, as I was hopelessly charmed by the gentleman by the side of the road from whom I procured my flat ("A whole box?!"). His grandson, who must have been about 4 or 5, was in charge of picking out my flat, with his little hands and elbows trying to move the flats around—so heavy!—he managed to scoot a box over just enough for his grandfather to reach it as his mom looked on, smiling and quiet.
Our first two jars were true to the original recipe. Next two were inspired by Travis' brandied cherries at Bar 355, which are laced with spice, so we replaced the vanilla with cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Next two jars, back to vanilla. Last jar: lemon peel!
Our flow chart:
Rinse cherries - pick through and dump blemished fruit - prick with sterilized needle - put in jar, pits and stems included - make simple syrup using 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water for each jar - pour syrup over cherries - add spice(s) - fill the rest with brandy - cap and be patient.
The Ballad of El Goodo - Big Star
Emotional Rescue - The Rolling Stones
End of the Street - The Bees
F-Hole - Squeeze
Green Gloves - The National
The Hair Song - Black Mountain
Hanging from a Hit - Okkervil River
Rabbit Heart - Florence and the Machine
Reckoner - Radiohead
Slaveship - Josh Rouse
Stop Me - Mark Ronson featuring Ole Dirty Bastard
Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Take a Minute - K'naan
This is Why We Fight - The Decemberists
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
The High Road - Broken Bells