My father is a man of many talents and out of the box thinking. One of his most memorable fixes involved our cherry tree, a magnificent and productive fixture in our backyard. As the fruit began to ripen, my father would hang aluminum pie plates, containers filled with beans and other bizarre items in the tree. He would then run a line from those items to a contraption on our back porch (the neighbors were probably wondering if he was nipping a bit too much of something), which at timed intervals would yank on the string, causing a cacophany of sound and moving visual distractions. The birds would fly away and leave the cherries alone, at least for a while. The cherries were a favorite summer association and the tree never failed to produce bumper crops for us, thanks to my clever father.
In my yard in Shoreline I have 2 cherry trees. I wanted my children to experience the same joys of fruit as I did. This past week when we were there mowing, there was one (1) cherry between the two trees. I did notice a lot of fat and happy birds too. I should perhaps adopt the strategy of those wiser in the ways of fruit than I.
The good news is that unlike my personal trees, this has been a bumper crop year for cherries in WA, so much so that tons of the fruit were on sale last week for 97 ¢/lb. I bought a lot, pitted and froze most, enjoyed a lot fresh and once the weather broke, baked some into delicious cookies.
Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Cookies
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1-2/3 cups chcolate chips
- 3/4 cups pitted, chopped cherries
1. Heat oven to 375F.
2. In a large bowl beat the butter or margarine, granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well.
3. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until blended. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, adding cherries after all other ingredients have been mixed. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.