Then I said to S., "Now I'd like to pick the white Nanking cherries." She looked at me doubtfully and thought, "Louise is not much of a gardener. She probably just doesn't know that there is no such thing as white cherries!"
Well, there are, and we have one bush of them. We didn't realize when we planted that bush that they were white Nankings, and not red as usual. I had never noticed them until this year, but there they were, and the bush was loaded.
We had picked the red Nankings very carefully, as they were going straight into the freezer. So we didn't want any blemished berries, or twigs or leaves in the buckets. But I planned to wash the white cherries and then steam juice them, so we were able to pick quite quickly and almost carelessly. In about 45 minutes the two of us had stripped that bush clean.
The top photo shows how many we gathered. They don't look much like cherries, do they?
The second photo shows them in the steam juicer. This is a three piece pan. The bottom section holds the water for steaming. The middle part collects the juice that falls from the fruit and has a spout for removing the scalding juice. The part you see in the second picture is the top part of the juicer. It holds the fruit in a sieve-like structure. The steam rises through the centre and draws the juice from the berries.
The third picture shows the product: four quart jars of pure white cherry juice. I guess I should say pure golden juice from white cherries. There was about 3 more cups of juice which I put directly into the fridge.
Tomorrow I hope to use this juice to start a good batch of wine. I made a small batch for my friend M. nine years ago from juice that she had from her white cherry bush. I gave that to her in the carboy, so never did find out how that batch turned out. It takes at least six weeks for fruit wines to be ready to bottle. Often I leave them in the carboy for much longer. With our dinner today we had some lovely apple wine that I started in April, which is still in the carboy. Tomorrow I should bottle that apple wine to make room for this batch of cherry wine.