Tree Swings and Cherries

swing

About 7 years ago my husband, Luigi, hung a tree swing for me in a cherry tree – right at the edge of our uliveto (olive grove). I love that swing! It’s one of my favorite spots – like a little retreat – where I can swing and swing and swing, and meditate on the green forests and open pastures that share the valley below our house in Umbria.

This year my beloved cherry tree – and 2 others – are spilling over with (you guessed it) cherries! So we’ve started to harvest.

cherry tree

One of the trees is a wild cherry – at least that’s what our friends and neighbors have told us. The cherries are smaller, yellowish pink when ripe, and oh-so-delicious. But we don’t even try to preserve them. They’re very delicate (and nearby impossible to pit) so we’ve found it’s best to just eat them fresh – right off the tree. 🙂

cherries

The other 2 trees seem to be Bing Cherry – or something similar – and in past years I may have been talked into making cherry preserves. But the truth is, Luigi and I don’t really like preserves – or marmalades or jellies – and we avoid eating sugar. So that leaves us with the fresh-frozen approach – yah!

cherries pitSo we’ve been picking and pitting lots of cherries, and the process for freezing them is really very easy.

  1. Rinse fresh, ripe cherries and dry them on paper towels.
  2. Pit them (There are many easy to use cherry pitters available!) and place on a cookie sheet or other flat pan.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer for several hours – or overnight – until the cherries are completely frozen.
  4. Remove the frozen cherries and transfer to freezer bags.

We love using frozen cherries in healthy shakes, and of course you can thaw them and toss a few into your oatmeal or use in baked recipes. Delicious!

cherries tavolo

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pamela blue 2Pamela Haack is an Italy travel consultant and author of Off the Beaten Strada: Top 10 Favorite Etruscan Sites. She specializes in creating group trips and personalized experiences for travelers who enjoy active vacations in Italy – off the beaten strada.

Get your FREE copy of Pamela’s Italy Trip Planning Tips, plus her FREE Off the Beaten Strada ezine filled with recipes, regional stories, practical travel tips and news from off the beaten strada in the heart of Italy. Click here.

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