I’m just an old fashioned kind of girl-

Bourbon cherries
Now, fresh is always best—and yet—pitting cherries is for the birds. Instead, we are
going to use several bags of frozen cherries. If you are a masochist, go ahead and use the fresh
ones. Who am I to judge how any of us gets our kicks? Do not for one minute, however, think
that it makes you a martyr for your art since in this case, it does not.
INGREDIENTS:
• 3 bags of frozen cherries 1 lb each
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• – A vanilla pod
• 3 cinnamon sticks broken in half
• 3 strips of orange peel-peel shallow- we don’t want the white stuff
• 3 cups rye whiskey don’t hesitate to use good stuff for this since it won’t be
wasted—After steeping our ruby gems it can then be drunk.
• 6 1/2 pint jars with lids—you can reuse the jars—but you must use fresh metal
lids and rings each time.
Dump the cherries into a colander set inside a non reactive pot (that means no cast iron
or copper) let them sit for several hours and when they seem thawed put a bowl on them to force
as much of the juice out as possible. If you’re so inclined feel free to do this in your fridge. I am
not so inclined. That would involve putting a plate or something under them and that just sounds
too much like work. After they have drained (save the juice), squeeze with your hands and then
arrange the cherries in your jars—you want them to be about 2/3 full. You might not need all six
jars. My powers of prognostication are not infallible. Add the honey, cinnamon and bourbon to
the juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not try to hurry this along. We don’t have
to have met for me to know that you look better with eyebrows. Whiskey is more than a wee bit
flammable. Once everything is dissolved and syrupy, remove from heat and stir in the scrapings
from the vanilla pod. Cut the pod into as many pieces as you have jars and distribute among
them. Use a skewer to push the orange peel down deep into the cherries and pour your boozy
syrup over all. Make sure each jar has a piece of cinnamon stick. Leave about 1/2 inch
headspace. Run a damp paper towel over the rim and quick as a wink apply the lids and screw
the rims on. The heat from the fruit will seal it all up. Between the sugar and the alcohol you
don’t really need to worry about botulism with these babies, but should you see anything that
looks like mold, don’t be a hero—toss it forthwith.
And now for the fisticuffs:
The only likelier way to pick a fistfight with another foodie would be to say “Real chili
has no beans or tomatoes.” Precisely the best way to enjoy an old fashioned is up for fierce
debate. I would skirt the entire issue by attaching a cute label that says “bourbon cherries—perfect on ice cream or in cocktails.” And that’s IT—they are on their own—no one has time for
that much conflict. Now, for myself, I prefer to fill a short glass with some ice—squeeze an
orange slice over the ice and then drop the slices into the glass. Add two fingers of rye and then
top up with another two fingers of our cherry bourbon (I have skinny fingers, your mileage may
vary). Garnish with at least one of our succulent Rubenesque cherries. Delicious. In fact, I think
one may be just what I need to finish this awful packing…
Make it delicious, Cassbourbon cherries

And to think it all began with Huckleberries….

12670144_10201712298405632_7256234373368558429_n(2)I am Cass. I live in Alaska with my husband Killian. Life is sweet(and sexy) and I love to cook.

Welcome to the newest version of Casscooks. For those of you that have been with me since the beginning, a heartfelt thank you- there are no words, really. for those of you who are new, welcome. Look around, find a recipe, join the conversation.

The most important recipe of my life-seriously- it changed everything:

When is a Blueberry not a Blueberry?

It’s that time of year again when I sing the praises of your local farmers market. I mean it people, if you don’t support your local farmers, they won’t be there when you get tired of cookie cutter, under ripe, “more pretty looks-than-flavor” produce. One of the great things about visiting the farmers market is that you get to try varieties that you never ever see in supermarkets. You can find vegetables in unfamiliar colors—purple carrots anyone?—with delectable tastes. Everyone knows about REAL tomatoes, but seriously a melon that actually ripened in the sun is ambrosia. There are probably varieties local to you that are totally worth seeking out. Once you do a little culinary exploration, new opportunities will just appear before you. Case in point, my BFF Jen and I happened to be at my local market this morning as it was wrapping up. We had gone to get bouquets of basil and some interesting squashes. But cooking, like life itself, is a labyrinth, my dearies. Most of the time you go in for one thing and end up with another… The nose-ringed purveyor at one of the stands offered me a box of the biggest blueberries I have ever seen. Any labelling had long since fallen off. They were huge and a deep sultry navy blue. When I popped one in my mouth, the flavor was tart and intense. I swear you could taste the sun beaming onto their thick blue skins. The deliciousness was marred by the grit of the seeds between my molars. I’ve never had blue berries with such obvious seeds. Seeds aside, they were more than worth the trouble because they tasted like summer incarnate. I gave them a quick simmer with a handful of sugar and a strip of lemon rind. A quick blitz in the blender and a trip through my wire strainer and I had the most luscious blueberry syrup. EVER. Should you happen upon any of these unnamed behemoths I have some suggestions for you:

 

  1. Over pancakes. Booyah.

 

  1. Vanilla ice cream

 

  1. And most importantly—Muddle a mint leaf in a cocktail glass—I believe we both know where this is headed… ice… splash in our blue syrup of extreme yumminess and top up with rum. If you are inclined to garnish, and I am, add a lime wheel. Blueberry mojitos for all… You can thank me later.