Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cherry Jam

This humble, little, white tree is a dwarf cherry standing no more than 6 foot tall full grown. I waited all day for the sun to come out and take a stunning picture of the white blossoms, but it was not to be. Here it is on a cloudy day. Last year the tree also bloomed well, but there was a killing frost about this time, which browned all the flowers and prevented the fruit from forming. Subsequently, we had no cherry jam last year.

It seems (or is simply so) that every plant I tend eventually ends up with a story. For example, my sage bush is not just a sage; it's a cutting from the one my sister had many, many (20?) years ago when she lived in a mobile home, and that piece went with me to a home I kept for four years in farm country and then again to my present garden. That plant is also the parent to another I rooted in water and planted in a new garden bed. I harvest and dry sage from that bush every year and enjoy it through the winter on roasted chicken. The smell almost invariably takes me back to those hot, dry Kansas days when I remember my sister weeding her garden and to the little home on the prairie that I tended so lovingly for a while.

So it goes...every plant with a story and a memory for me. This year I'll pick and wash and pit cherries, then I'll make cherry jam. When I open a jar this winter, the color and the smell will remind me of summer on the porch pitting cherries alone. It will remind me of the spring we had a late frost and went without cherry jam.

No comments: