A blog, a conference, and Bourbonified Cherries

Hello bloggerites!

I know, I know…worst blogger ever! Cue Chandler: could there BE a longer time between posts?! So true, but in my months off from blogging I have been cooking up all sorts of delicious things (pun fully intended!).

The first exciting thing I have to report is that in addition to this blog, I am now blogging for the online space Yummie Nation! This is a wonderful group that is dedicated to all things food and entertaining, so do be sure to give them a look see :)

The second exciting thing is that I attended Yummie Nation’s inaugural food blog conference last weekend. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming (I have neither a cookbook, nor 10000000 followers, nor a brand ambassadorship, nor 450 hours per day to spend photog-ing) but I came away with insight and I hope a little bit of wisdom. Plus I met a ton of really cool blogging folks! [Shout out to my fellow gator jerky afficionado!] I’ve posted (and will continue to post) shots from the conference on my Instagram feed; yes, it was in Las Vegas, and yes, I ate a Flinstones-size steak. And then yes photog-ed myself with the bone. Who says you shouldn’t play with your food!

The bone to end all bones

The bone to end all bones

Anyway, what I’m saying the long way is that I think I’ll be changing things up a bit – hopefully post more often, be a bit more “real”, and just stay true to what I love to do: cook, eat, photog, eat, write. In that order.

And in keeping with this theme, let me share with you this recipe I found online for brandied cherries. This summer I was super-keen to try canning; I’m not sure if it was because all the cool kids were doing it, or because I like to be green, or because I like to be sort of handy in the kitchen…either way, I bought two great canning books and basically ran out of time (and summer fruit!) before I was able to try all the recipes I wanted. I had to try this one for brandied cherries because basically the cherries in an old-fashioned are the best. things. ever. So, in giving full credit to the Crepes of Wrath for their wonderful brandied cherry recipe (link above), I will describe the sequence of events for my Booozy Bourbonified Cherries:

Bourbonified Cherries

You will need:

  • bourbon (lots of bourbon)
  • cherries (as many as you want to eat, obviously)
  • aromatics such as a cinnamon stick and whole cloves
  • sugar
  • mason jar (s)

1. I had approx 2 cups of cherries, because that was how many I bought (I actually bought them in Winnipeg at a farmers market and drove them all the way to Calgary…travelling cherries!). Pit the cherries -> please use a cherry pitter! Can’t imagine doing this by hand…

De-pitted cherries: maybe not the most glorious thing to look at...

De-pitted cherries: maybe not the most glamorous things to look at…

2. Heat up approx 2 cups bourbon (I LOVE BOURBON) or a similar liquor of choice with a cinnamon stick and 2-4 cloves; if you hate cinnamon, don’t use cinnamon. Maybe use some whole black peppercorns for a spicy kick. Or some cardamom pods if you really wanted to get wild and crazy! Add the sugar, approx 1 cup for every 2 cups cherries (although taste your cherries first and if they’re very tart, add more sugar! If you want a less-sweet bourbonified cherry, add less sugar!). I prefer brown sugar but as you like. Stir to combine over the heat and once sugar has dissolved, add the cherries and turn off the heat.

My sweet baby cherries, just chillin' in their bourbon bath

My sweet baby cherries, just chillin’ in their bourbon bath

3. Once the mixture has cooled, spoon/ladle/pour/flop your cherries into sterilized mason jars. Make sure you label your jar, because after a few weeks the cherries will have lost some of their colour and will look a bit frightening floating around in this red liquid.

Nicely labelled and ready for some quality back-of-the-fridge time!

Nicely labelled and ready for some quality back-of-the-fridge time!

4. Pop the jars in the fridge; do not open, touch, or even look at for at least 4 weeks.

5. Four weeks later: open and enjoy!

I found these cherries super super super boozy. This may have been because I used bourbon with a high alcohol content (hehehe), and to be honest it was a bit tough going to eat the cherries on their own (darn, alcoholic cherries AGAIN?!). BUT, I ended up baking them into a fudgey, dense, chocolatey brownie pie thing, and they were amazing. So addictive. So I would definitely recommend going that route, or using a liquor that’s not 50% alcohol. Just saying.

The leftover cherry bourbon, though…this, my friends, is liquid gold. Just what the doctor ordered, any day of the week. All days of the week. Right now…

And on that note, I will leave you contemplating sweet sweet bourbon nothings. Stay delicious my friends! ;)

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