This was a slightly frightening challenge. I found myself pausing in front of the fridge with my hand on the handle, wondering "Do I really want to know the answer to this question?" Rooting around in the back of the fridge could lead to some ugly self-realizations around hoarding and beliefs of wastefullness. But how bad could it really be? This fridge is only two years old and we did a major clean up while transferring things from the old one to the new one. The scariest thing then was a container of candied fruit - you know the stuff that you put into fruit bread or Christmas cake - that had congealed and hardened into a mass of sticky, crystallized nastiness. (And why do they tell me it's candied "fruit" when the first ingredient is "rutabega"?)
I felt more confident about checking the contents of the fridge. To my dismay, I found this jar of maraschino cherries. There was no syrup in the jar anymore, and I couldn't find a "best before" date on it. Does that mean I have had this jar since before there were "best before" dates? Surely not. The only thing I use these cherries for are an old family recipe for Cherry Loaf. The drawing came out kind of wonky - what's with the lid!? I drew with my new dip pen set using the B5 nib with the round end, which gives a pretty strong line, in the Moleskine sketchbook.
And because I have a secret desire to be a food blog when I grow up here is the recipe for this very pretty pink quick bread studded with red cherries.
Maraschino Cherry Loaf
1 jar maraschino cherries (10 oz. size)
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Drain cherries and reserve juice adding water if needed to make 1/2 cup liquid. Chop cherries coarsely and pat dry. In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar adding eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla or almond flavor. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and add to creamed mixture alternately with cherry juice. Stir in cherries and almonds if using. Place in greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or tested done in center with toothpick. Cool 10 minutes in pan and remove. Wrap and slice the next day. Bread freezes well.