John and I spent half of our vacation in Montreal, Canada at the International Jazz Festival. It is the largest jazz festival in the world and we had the opportunity to see many shows including Trombone Shorty, Wayne Shorter (on the occasion of his 80th birthday) and Christine and Ingrid Jensen. We also rode bicycles around town and ate at several local restaurants. In addition to Poutine (French fries with cheese curds and gravy), this area of Canada is known for its preserved meats including sausages and pates. While there, we bought picnic food for the festival which included chicken pate on fig bread. And, while I didn’t have a chance to try it, there was a wonderful recipe in the newspaper there about how well pickled cherries go with both pate and cheese.
Cherries are still in our grocery although not as local now as they are in Canada. But, I just couldn’t resist putting up a half batch for a lovely cheese plate later this summer. I might add that not only are they lovely on the shelf, but they taste even better than you might expect with a bit of crunch and both a sweet and sour taste.
Pickled Sweet Cherries
2 c. water
2 ½ c. white vinegar (the Canadian recipe used half white and ½ Balsamic vinegar)
2 c. sugar
5 bay leaves
7-8 whole peppercorns per jar
)The Canadian recipe also added a pinch of cayenne)
3 pounds sweet cherries with the stems removed
Combine water, vinegar(s) and sugar (cayenne as well if using) and bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Clean 5 pint jars and add bay leaf and peppercorns to each. Pack cherries into jars. Pour brine over and add lids. Seal in boiling water for 10 minutes.
One Year Ago – pita bread and cheese