During the last couple of weeks we have had fun picking chokecherries a couple of different times. This is a berry that you don't eat while your picking as it leaves this really dry/bitter taste in your mouth but after you cook them, juice them and add some sugar it becomes one of my favorite syrups. It is very yummy! First we went out to my Mom and Dad's to pick them. The trees they were on were rather high so we balanced precariously on the step ladder some of the time and them to pick some of them we climbed on a nearby shed.
The kids thought it was fun to be up on the shed picking. Then you wash them off, add a little water and cook them. You don't have to stem them or anything so it is quite easy! The aroma of them cooking is quite wonderful.
Then you need to get the juice separated from the skin, seeds and stems. I don't have a juicer or even a cone shaped strainer things (I don't know what it is called but I would like to get one someday) but I improvised by using my colander and a glass too press on the cherries. It worked! :-)
After getting the juice out I mixed it with a little pectin, heated it up to boiling and then added some sugar and then put them in canning jars and sealed them. I think I made 16 pints of syrup with the berries that I picked at Mom and Dad's and from some other friends property. I am looking forward to lots of yummy pancakes with chokecherry syrup this winter!
Have you ever used choke cherries? What did you do with them?