This weekend I was fortunate to be able to go cherry picking with my son. Fortunate because the last couple of years, the cherries were all gone by the time I heard about them being ready. Thanks to Facebook updates from Tougas Farm, I knew exactly which days the cherries would be available. Last Friday I was even planning on going in to work late just so I could get some cherries. There was a thunderstorm that day so that meant the cherries were still there on Saturday morning.
My son was my perfect partner since we both love cherries . The trouble with going to a pick-your-own place is that we rarely pick only what we need. We ended up with close to 4 pounds of cherries. As I was taking some photos of our gorgeous cherries I could only think of the word “abundance”.
I feel so lucky to live where we live… close to many options for eating locally. However, I also feel lucky that we have access to many things that are not readily available locally, like lemons. I stumbled upon this recipe really by accident. My abundance of cherries really weren’t inspiring me to make anything specific and I couldn’t allow my son and I to eat that many cherries. My husband has already expressed his views on cherry pie made with fresh cherries.
Next best thing to baking with my cherries was to freeze them so on Sunday morning I set to work on pitting all the cherries. To keep them from turning brown I squeezed some lemon juice over them. That’s when the light-bulb went on over my head. I made lemon juice with the 5 lemons I had in the fridge and stirred the cherries every so often as I worked on the pits. The lemon juice turned a lovely red color. I strained the juice from the cherries into a glass jar, froze the cherries, then added sugar to the juice which gave us some pink lemonade concentrate. My son commented that it really did taste like pink lemonade. This is a wonderful summertime drink!
Pink Lemonade (aka Cherry Lemonade)
- 3-4 lbs fresh sweet cherries
- 5 to 6 medium lemons, juiced
- 3/4 to 1 cup superfine sugar (adjust to taste)
(You’ll probably want to adjust the measurements for however many cherries you wish to process.) Place lemon juice in a large bowl adding pitted cherries and stirring every so often. Once all the cherries have been pitted, strain juice into a jar, reserving cherries for another recipe.
Add superfine sugar to the jar and seal the lid. Shake jar until sugar is completely dissolved. Mix pink lemonade concentrate with cold water and pour over ice. The ratio of concentrate to water depends on how sweet you like your lemonade. I would recommend 5-6 Tbsp per 12-oz glass of water. Add ice cubes and enjoy. Keep jar of concentrate refrigerated up to one week.