|Chokecherry syrup. |
Delicious in so many ways.
And after so many months.
The digging out of the 'berry pails' wasn't always a reason for celebration.
When Mom headed towards the saskatoon bushes, yes.
But when the car turned to the chokecherry patch.
Not so much.
Don't get me wrong, we loved the end product of both enterprises.
But the picking of saskatoons also involved interim rewards.
Like the eating of said berries.
Again, not so much.
Fresh from the bush, they were . . . how shall I say this genteel-ly . . .?
In fact, before any of the bright red berries passed our lips, they had to be cooked and treated.
And added upon.
And poured into jars.
Or even better, syrup.
You have to know that there was nothing quite like homemade chokecherry syrup on Mom's fluffy pancakes.
Where was I?
It was a great family favourite.
My Husby's mother made fabulous chokecherry syrup as well.
She then dispensed bottles of it to eagerly awaiting offspring.
It went fast.
As soon as one bottle emptied, another took its place.
And therein (good word) lies a tale.
We had been using one bottle of syrup.
Then, as often happens in a household where ten people are sharing the fridge, our little bottle got pushed to the back and hidden behind a bottle of pickles.
I should explain, here, that we always purchased everything edible in gi-normous (made-up word denoting humongous-ness) sizes.
Because mealtime for our bunch strongly resembled the feeding of a threshing crew.
So the idea of a quart-sized bottle being hidden behind a monstrous jar shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Moving on . . .
There our little jar remained.
While I opened another.
Which was subsequently used.
Some months later, when I finally reached the back of our fridge, I discovered our forgotten, woefully neglected little bottle of chokecherry syrup.
Dismayed at the thought of lost deliciousness, I opened the lid.
Probably, I should mention that neither of us drink alcohol.
What follows makes more sense if I do.
“Grant, what's wrong with this chokecherry syrup?” I asked. “It smells . . . funny.”
I handed him the jar.
He sniffed. “I think you've created chokecherry wine, hon.” he said, grinning at me.
“What? How did I do that?”
“Fruit. Sugar. Neglect.”
Huh. So that's how it's done . . .
“So what do I do with it now?”
“Well I know someone who would probably enjoy it!”
We took it to our friend, who looked at it.
Swirled it around in the jar.
Then finally tasted it.
He looked at us. “Best chokecherry wine I've ever had,” he said, grinning.
Trust the two teetotallers to do it up right.
From the chokecherry patch, through Mom's kitchen (and fridge), to a tavern near you.