Spring cleaning is not a chore I enjoy. My kids are 25 years old and I still find myself giving away toys and cleaning out old makeup and cheap gems from my daughter’s room. My son’s has been cleaned out, but since he is far, far away and hopefully will return again, we are storing boxes and books and four guitars that require keeping a humidifier running in his room. That isn’t so bad as long as I remember to fill it. Manservant has even found that if he keeps his cigars in there it works out quite nicely for them, too.
I can’t wait to paint our basement that has brightly colored stripes running up and down the walls that worked out quite nicely during the kid’s party years. And the basement still contains various games and tons of children’s books that I know I will save forever. Well, I hope I have someone to pass them on to. And then there is the crawl space that contains so many stuffed animals and baby clothes and who knows what else, because I’m afraid to go in there.
But this week I was more focused on the freezer. We need a new refrigerator so badly. This one is 24 years old and it works quite nicely except that the ice builds up in the bottom of the freezer side and then we need to chip it away so I can use the bottom shelf. It also involves a hair dryer to start the melting which isn’t hard to do, but it is a hassle. We’ve tried to have it fixed but no one ever does the job, so we’ve given up on it ever being 100%. Since all funds are going to China, it appears I’ll be chipping away a few times this year.
Which takes me back to spring cleaning. You knew I’d get there, didn’t you? The discovery process of cleaning a freezer can be quite amazing. In my case it involved throwing away a can of frozen limeade that has been there for two years. And then I discovered the chicken fat that I was going to use for rendering for Passover so I wouldn’t have to buy schmaltz, but I did buy schmaltz, so now I guess I’ll try saving it until Rosh Hashonah. Then I found three Cornish hens that never got baked and who knows how long they have been there. And I could go on, but why?
The best part -besides the frozen Halloween candy- were the found frozen sour cherries that I bought at the farmer’s market last year. The time has come to use them up so I can buy more frozen sour cherries to find next year. Sour cherries are my absolute favorite fruit to use in summer desserts. There is something decadent and wholesome when one spies truly gorgeous, red glistening cherries coming out of the oven. It doesn’t matter in what form they are-whether it is crisp, cobbler or pie. Whether it is syrup, sauce or jam, or just one on top, cherries are just so damn pretty.
Being quite busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I threw this cobbler together for a nice dinner I made last weekend for Manservant’s send off. Except it wasn’t a send off, because the MAN is still here. Drives me crazy when he does this! I also made a superb papparadelle with baby lobsters in a lemon garlic sauce. Yes, those baby lobster’s were in the freezer, too. I buy them and tuck them away, whenever they are on sale and I think these were from Valentine’s Day. It was a nice night of eating and I didn’t even take a photo of the pasta dish. But I did get this cobbler which ought to be in your belly. Easy peasy and yummy; this cherry cobbler is a dream!
4 c sour cherries, pitted and drained well
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 T cornstarch
2/3 c sugar plus 3 T
1 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
12 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8″ cast iron skillet. Put cherries, lemon juice almond and vanilla extract, cornstarch and sugar into skillet. Stir well. Set aside and make biscuit dough.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt 3 T sugar and the butter. I use my fingers, but you may want to use a fork or pastry cutter, and cut the butter in until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in 1/2 c boiling water, stirring until batter is just combined.
Now over medium heat bring the cherry mixture to a boil. Drop the batter in large heaping tablespoons onto the cherries. Bake the cobbler for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.