Hungarian word of the day: cseresznye. It means cherries. It is not my favorite word right now, because we spent a good part of a very hot Saturday outside in the sun picking them, and a good part of a very hot Sunday inside in the kitchen processing them.

Most of what we collected will be made into preserves by my grandmother-in-law, a project about which I have nothing good to say, other than the fact that it’s not us who have to do it.

I was able to sneak away with a couple of small boxes, one of which I sold to a colleague, and the other of which we used to make cherry syrup. It was a hot, messy, icky project, and I have a few messy, yucky pictures to show it:

I filled the sink with cherries and water, then used my metal sieve to scoop out a small amount at a time. After removing the stems and any bad cherries, I mashed the whole thing up using my food processor, then simmered it for a while with sugar. Look, yummy:

Then came the straining. For lack of anything better, I used an old stocking. It worked… sort of.

The end involved some squeezing, which was slightly messy.

And we ended up with all this nasty cherry goo. Doesn’t it look just like raw meat? Anyway, I ended up freezing it in the cubes you can see above, and they turned into cherry-flavored ice cubes.

I started with a box of about 4-5 kilos of cherries, and ended up with 4 bottles of syrup, so about 3 liters worth. It seemed like a proper amount for the amount of work that went into the project. The finished product was not quite as syrup-y as I would have liked; next time I’d boil it longer and add more sugar. But not bad for a first try.

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