Monday, June 2, 2014

weekend (and a recipe)

Country living is in full swing around here as was evidenced by our weekend.  Three hours cutting our side yard with a push mower finally resulted in an evenly cut space after a week of weed eating the giant brown stalks in any spare moment we could find.  Our jungle of a yard has finally been tamed, and I think we'll be able to manage it without a tractor until all the seeded areas catch up.  I made Will cut around the daisies that are growing wild in random places throughout the yard, probably having escaped from someone's garden somewhere else in the neighborhood.  I also went around what looks like a wild raspberry bush.  If they do well, perhaps I'll transplant them to other areas of the yard in the months to come.  I also had the kids helping me pick up and stack sticks and limbs that were littering the wooded area in front of our house.  We got that cleaned up pretty well, didn't see any snakes, and only had one tick.  Win!

Before the west (yard) was won
After we finished up the yard work on Saturday morning, I put Annabel down for a nap and then Tommy and I headed out to pick cherries.  My uncle's sister lives close by and has a tree in her yard.  Since she and her husband are out of town and the sour cherries were ripe for the picking, she generously let us go and fill a couple baskets.  Tommy loved climbing the ladders and scoping out the spots with the most fruit.  In the end, we picked for about two hours and came home with plenty of cherries for a batch of jam and a few other treats.

Tommy and the cherry tree

The rest of Saturday was spent making pizza for dinner, making room for cherries in our refrigerator, and making plans for what to do with them all.  On Sunday, I found myself awake and alone fairly early in the morning so I took full advantage of the quiet with coffee and Fannie Flagg's "Standing in the Rainbow."  A lovely way to start my favorite day of the week.

 Once the kids got up, there was breakfast and Sunday School and church and lunch and then time for toddler nap and big boy quiet time.  So after washing up about 4 1/2 cups of cherries, I sat down with my assembly line:  pick up, pit, separate, repeat. The Pioneer Woman kept me company with her newest episode that I had recorded earlier in the day and in no time (well, actually in a little over one episode), I had myself a big bowl of pitted cherries.

So I made sour cherry crumble.  And it's amazing.  Let me tell you how I made it...

Fresh Cherry Crumble
Recipe (slightly adapted) from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

2 pints of fresh sour cherries
1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 T butter, melted
3 T maple syrup
1/4 t cinnamon
2 pinches of salt

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix cherries and sugar in a large bowl.  Pour mixture into 9x9 baking dish.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Spread the topping evenly over the cherries and bake until the fruit is bubbling and the top is browned - 30-40 minutes.

Notes:  The original recipe calls for blueberries and an entire lemon (I've made that version, too, and it's really good) so since the cherries aren't as sweet, I added the sugar and omitted half of the lemon.  Since it's still not super sweet, although it's delicious on it's own, I find it's best eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a generous helping of whip cream...even though that makes it decidedly not Paleo.  Oh well :)

Sunday night I got dressed up and went back to church for the senior banquet which Will puts on every year for our church's graduating class.  It's always a wonderful night and this year was no exception.  I did manage to get a photo of him with the six girls who participated, but since I don't have their permission I'm going to leave it out.  But a big CONGRATULATIONS and BEST OF LUCK to you special MPUMC ladies and to anyone else out there who's graduating this year!  

I'll leave you today with this pretty Sunday sunset that I snapped a quick photo of after pulling into our neighborhood last night.  Definitely a great weekend.  Hope yours was, too!

Happy 1st Monday of JUNE to you!

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