Two of the neighbors have a lot of cherries on their trees and so we made our own version of Maraschino cherries this week. I had to make my own version because at Safeway the almond extract even imitation was $4.99 which was too much. I mixed vanilla extract/syrup with marshmallow vodka to substitute and i think it turned out great!
I don’t like getting too many contraptions for the kitchen but this cherry pitter is awesome and I don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner. Since the cost of the cherries was $4 total since we only bought a tiny amount and stole the rest, I feel the new toy is justified.
- Pinch of canning salt
- 2 quarts water
- 4-1/2 pounds pitted sweet cherries
- 4-1/2 pounds sugar
- 3 cups water
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 ounce red food coloring
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1 oz. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup marshmallow vodka
Bring water to a boil, add salt and stir. Let cool for 10 minutes, then pour over pitted sweet cherries. Cover and let sit overnight.
Drain cherries, discarding brine, and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, lemon juice, and red food coloring. Add the reserved juice and bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, and remove from heat.
Remove from heat and stir in almonds, vodka and vanilla extract.
Let sit overnight then strain and bring to a boil almost.
Wait till it cools a little and pour over the cherries in the jar/s.
Place in a water bath canner and process 20 minutes for pint jars or 25 minutes for quart jars.
Somehow we ended up with 31 chickens because we “needed” 2 for my oldest daughter to show at the fair and then we have 13 laying hens and 1 rooster plus the 15 meat birds which are Cornish Cross.
Our rooster, Big Daddy, has been growing for a week now and no complaints from the neighbors yet. He is really a considerate fellow and waits till about 7 to crow. I know some people like the sound of a rooster crowing and it reminds them of their childhood or something but our neighbor is not going to be one of those people. We are allowed to have chickens and maybe even a rooster even though we live in the city but if she complains we will have to get rid of him.
I have some eggs that I cracked open and they looked like they might be fertile so I made a makeshift incubator with an ice chest and heating pad for now. I don’t know if it will work but I am going to try for a week and then candle the eggs to see what’s inside. We will sell or eat the chicks as they will be red broiler crossed with something else. If I see that the eggs are fertile I may try using the yogurt maker I have to incubate or buy one. None of the ladies are interested in sitting on the eggs right now. It figures when you need them to they won’t.
The smaller bantams have to be kept separate from the other chickens indeed because one got out and was pounced on my two of the leftover breeding meat birds. 😦
We started building a coop of sorts to get the chickens out of the garage. Right now they are all sleeping outside except for the meat birds who will be going out soon. I have to make some transfers of chickens and make another holding area for the littler ones.