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When I was a little girl we had a giant wild cherry tree in our front yard and the branches were so low I could pick the tiny black cherries standing on the ground and I could easily climb it to reach as many as I wanted.

I must have been about five years old; I can remember asking my dad if I could eat them. (I had a thing about picking berries even if they weren’t edible. I would pick a bucket full of pyrocanthia berries just so I could squish them.:p) His answer was that they weren’t poisonous but they were so sour and acidic that I wouldn’t want to.

About a week ago I noticed that I have a few smallish prunus serotinas, and several large ones as well, around my over grown yard. I did some on-line research and determined that the fruits are often used for jellies. The bark has medicinal properties. The bruised leaves are toxic and the pits can be too.

Out comes the giant ladder. Unfortunately, most of my smaller trees are in shaded locations and aren’t fruiting. The big ones? I’d need a fire truck ladder to get to their bounty. So I am not going to get the jelly I wanted. I need three pounds for that, I have 8 ounces.:cry:

So, I was thinking about trying to use my pitiful harvest to create a flavoring agent. Maybe an extract or a syrup. I was toying with the idea of making chocolate covered marshmallows and using the cherry extract/syrup in lieu of vanilla. Or possibly some dark chocolate wild cherry truffles.

Should I go syrup or extract? If I go the homemade extract/liqueur route I think I’m going to need a lot of sugar to offset the acid. And should I use vodka or something else? Any thoughts?