River Cherry Bliss

River Cherries

River Cherries

Early start cant seem to sleep in even if I try my body and mind stirring moments before the birds sing in the new morning light, it is the first time I have been up here in the Mossman area on the edge of the Daintree at this time of year and everything is so exiting there are new birds I have never seen flitting and singing in spring courtship the crickets sound like they are going to burst in an explosion of sound the cane season is nearly at an end and I love how there are new unseen realms and views exposed everyday behind the fallen sugarcane.
Sitting here now at six tenish in the morning looking out over the mist shrouded newly cut cane field at my new view listening to the distant now much clearer road sounds you don’t realize how much sound a field of greenery can block out until it is gone. The sun has just pocked his head up above the hills directly behind my van where I sit writing this the sharp cry of the hawk piercing through the morning choir draws my attention from the screen it is hard to maintain my focus in this most sacred of times, they are having a feeding frenzy on the many morsels of I don’t now exactly what that are revealed but the busy noisy cutters, huge flocks of brown hawks circle in the skies swooping down to feed they have figured out there is easy food at the end of this human activity and when you see them in the sky in the distance you know they are cutting cane over there….. it is an amazing spectacle and I feel so blessed to be alive.
I love it up here it is so vibrant with life of all sorts I even have thing moving in with me there are insect eggs on my curtains and god knows where else that I cant see little white spiders have made webs over the two small always open window at the back of my van to catch the entering or exiting insects very smart indeed if I was a spider it is exactly where I would put my web, I have brightly blue chested male sun birds hovering at my open door rite in front of my face checking out if my van is a suitable spot to make his nest while his more mutely colored lady sits patently waiting on the cloths line and I even had a little bat pee rite in my eye while I was laying looking up at the stars one night………

River Cherry Jam
So the foraged food subject of this blog is River Cherries the common name used by many a local up here to describe a member of what I would refer to as a lilly pilly, I spotted their bulging red fleshed bodies hanging from a tree on the edge of the golf course on our way to pick more Tamarind down the road so after picking tamarind we stopped to check them out I figured they were some sort of Syzygium sp. aka lilly pilly my friend Mick after a long think told me they called them river cherries which I thought was a nice name even though they taste nothing like cherries well maybe those smaller tart Kentish cherries, they are very juicy and eye poppingly tart but refreshing and instantly I thought mmmmmm jam, I love jams made from tart or sour fruits so we picked a basket full of fruit trying to not get hit by passing golf balls and fighting of the green ant that were not happy with us we headed home myself knowing I had a lot of work in front of me. I had a huge basket of tamarind to process which I will do a separate blog and update on and a good sized basket of river cherries they have one seed and I had to sit and pit each one individually it was a bit like doing Laurels another of my favorite jams, it took me a good hour or so with a knife to do about two kilograms of fruit which ended up as about one kilograms of flesh I added a small amount of water and just boiled and added sugar as in any other jam recipe I got three bright pink sweetly tart jars of jam it is wonderful and I cant wait to pick more to make enough to give each of the aunties a jar.

I’m also mobile again now so I will be blogging more about all the goodies I find happy days 🙂


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