Will Preserved Cherries With Herbs Help Preserve My Marriage?

Cherries (1 of 1)Wandering the fruit and vegetable markets in southern France can be inspiring. This year, we have spent some time in the big Sunday market in Libourne, about 40k outside Bordeaux on the Bergerac road. There was the usual range of wonderful stallholders, selling delicious produce at fantastic prices. I was attracted by some magnificent looking cherries. I wanted to buy them. The Wife advised, as she often does, caution. What were they for? Had I a plan? Did I know what I wanted to cook with them?

The answer to all three questions being; “Ehhh”, “Not really” and “No”, in that (or any) order. Still, we returned to Libourne a week later and I got to buy more than a kilo of lovely cherries for the price of cup of coffee in Dublin. As we left the market, the Wife repeated her quizzing. My answers being; “But of course”, “But of course” and “But of course, Preserved Cherries with Herbs, what else?” (in exactly that order). The great thing about my seemingly flippant retort is that it will take 5 to 6 months for the cherries to mature in alcohol. By then, any potential “I told you so” over the cherry purchase will have gone out of our relationship. Either that or the Wife will have eventually had enough of me and will have departed herself!

The light in France is conducive to half decent photography. Bless it.

The light in France is conducive to half decent photography. Bless it.

Ingredients for Preserved Cherries with Herbs

  • 1.2kg of top quality cherries
  • .5 kg of sugar
  • .5 litre of water
  • .75 litre bottle of vodka
  • A handful of fresh thyme
  • A handful of fresh lemon balm

Here’s what I did. 

I drove to the local supermarket and got my hands on half a dozen preserving jars. Next, I washed and dried the cherries. I added the sugar to the water and warmed it until the sugar had dissolved. Then I divided the cherries between the jars (enough for 6 jars).

This represents long term planning for me.

This represents long term planning for me. I hope she likes them.

I added some thyme and lemon balm to each jar. Then I added the vodka to the sugar / water mixture.

Fruit, sugar, alcohol. What can possibly go wrong?

Fruit, sugar, alcohol. What can possibly go wrong?

I filled each of the jars with sugary alcohol mixture and sealed. 

So, what happens next?

Nothing happens now until Christmas, at the earliest. The jars will be kept in a dark cupboard and I will have a reminder on my calendar to take them out and try them either with some meat or as part of a dessert with ice cream. When they are the success that I believe they will be, all thoughts of my glib remarks will be a faded memory and the Wife and I will enjoy these lovely preserved cherries with herbs.

Will she be with me to enjoy them? I certainly hope so...

Will she be with me to enjoy them? I certainly hope so…

Either that or she will have had enough of my antics, will have left me and I can spend Christmas eating the cherries, drinking the alcoholic syrup and reminiscing on happier times on holidays, in France, with the Wife. 

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Latest comments
  • What a lovely idea, I’ll bet they’ll taste amazing. And it’s a twofer – boozy cherries and their syrup. If Mrs B kicks you out you are welcome to bring the contents of your preserves cupboard (and yourself) to Suffolk. We’ll make room for you. Sadly though, from our pov, I think it’s highly unlikely. Lx

      • I don’t think you’ve got a prayer of her letting you go. You’re far too handy in the kitchen. 😀

  • How very French – what a lovely idea!

  • Fantastic – in my experience cherries in alcohol just get better with the years – we call them psycho cherries in our house for a complicated reason. I haven’t tried adding herbs before will try that next time. have you made cassis?

  • Beautiful. I made cherry vodka (on the blog) and it was the best of all of my vodka infusing experiments! Can’t wait to see what you do with these!

  • How lovely to see you on my screen again – the last few posts did not appear via WP with me. I wondered what happened – France? Eh – wishing you and the Mrs. 🙂 a wonderful peaceful holiday.
    I love this new site of yours – fantastic!!! And the cherries – what a great idea to do them “with herbs” – please Sir, do keep a jar for me?!

      • I got an e-mail notification but did not see this in the WP app.

  • This look like it’s going to be so pleasing, I’m quite sure the first scenario is more likely to happen. But it’s always wise to have plan B! 🙂

  • Love this, Conor. Without the herbs besides preserved cherries you’re also making ciliecello 🙂 With the herbs, it’s a cross with amaro. I think you’ve ensured that the wife will endure your company at least until it is time to eat these cherries! 🙂

      • Looking forward to the post! I imagine it is difficult to get the right ratio of herbs to cherries.

  • There you go, raising the blogging stakes again. Last time it was knife skills, now it’s artful on-location food photography. It’s very wonderful. Do you ever get hate mail?

  • That Frenchy light, sigh. I think that your lovely missus is highly likely to choose to stay, based purely on the fact that being a sensible woman, she would want a ‘look in’ on those delicious looking boozy cherries. Sunshine in a jar.

  • Just to add, this didn’t show in my WP feed but your last one did, go figure.

  • Well, if the wife isn’t a fan, perhaps you should use 150 proof grain alcohol, as I’ve done in the past. It’s not like she’ll try a few and suddenly approve. She just won’t care. 😀

  • She’d be a fool to leave you—at least not before trying those cherries… 😉

  • I love cherries! This sounds amazing! I now have plans for my small jar of moonshine, but I’m also tinkering with the idea of adding juniper berries rather than herbs. Does that sound like it would work?

  • I’m glad I’m not the only one to do preserving on vacation. A couple of years ago in Michigan I made jam all week long. People thought me crazy, but we never get the cherries and plums like they have up there!

  • You must be still having WP gremlins. I looked for your post on my readerboard yesterday, and after today when I didn’t see it I went straight to your site. Well, there it was, like clockwork but it didn’t happen for me automagically. Alas, I found your beautiful boozy cherry post, yay! I think everything you have in this wonderful concoction will make some wonderful dishes pre/post-Christmas, for sure!

  • I have no idea how I came to miss this post, but at least I’m here now. My personal opinion is that the Wife will be so ravished by the flavour of the cherries that you will be berated for not making twice the quantity. And of course, it will have been her idea all along…

  • My German cousins always had cherries preserved in rum (home made). You could buy them at the German deli. My aunt made a flan with rum cherries and whipped cream. Memories of black forest cake dance in my head! 💖

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