This year I was able to pick a good amount of cherries before the birds or bugs got to them, and made a chokecherry syrup. To counteract the astrigency of the cherry, it's important to wait until they're black without a trace of red, and to add lots and lots of sugar. Now, I did both but my syrup still had a rather medicinal taste. Not unlike Nyquil, actually.
I tried making a bubbly drink by adding some club soda and got something akin to um, bubbly Nyquil. I figure my only recourse at this point is to make an alcholic drink of it. Enough vodka in there and I probably won't notice the taste at all. Or anything else for that matter...
I was a little more successful with my other chokecherry experiment.
I look pretty dangerous here, don't I? You may think I'm all sweet mushrooms and soft wool but I have a darker side. And a knife. And mom gym shoes.
Yeah, I'm scary.
One of our chokecherry trees had fallen this summer and I finally got around to hauling the wood into the barn for drying. I cut off some of the smaller limbs and thought I'd try dyeing with the bark.
I used one of my old kitchen knives to strip the bark (a draw knife is on my list of wants, but what I have are old kitchen knives) from the limbs. I tore the strips of bark into pieces and simmered it in some water for about an hour. The water had taken on an orangey color and the house smelled like earth and cherries, which I didn't mind.
I drained the dye and added a piece of unmordanted, scoured silk and wool. The resulting color is a warm tan, sort of like buckskin on the silk and a pale tan on the wool.
It's tan, which isn't hard to come by with natural dyeing, but it is quite lovely, a nice shade for autumn.
How about you? Have you tried chokecherries? Did you pucker?
Have a great weekend, everyone.