• 12 cups chokecherry juice/pulp
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered pectin
  • 14 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract

An unappetizing name, but the resulting syrup will make breakfast taste wonderful

Tales of the Dinner Belle

By Brenda Stanley

Just one of the many things I love about living in Idaho is our ability to forage right out our backdoor. There are so many edible and delicious berries, weeds, and other plants that we can harvest and enjoy. One of my favorites is the chokecherry. It isn’t one you can enjoy while you’re picking them- they call them chokecherries for a reason. They have a bitter and sour taste, however, when mixed with sugar and cooked down into syrup or jam, their tart and earthy flavor comes through. I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of chokecherries I found this year, so I had to share by recipe for syrup. It is perfect for pancakes and waffles, but my family also loves it drizzled over a dish of vanilla ice cream. This recipe can be reduced or doubled depending on how many chokecherries you pick.

Belle’s Chokecherry Syrup

12 cups chokecherry juice/pulp

3 Tablespoons powdered pectin

14 cups sugar

1 ½ teaspoons almond extract

Extract as much juice/pulp from the chokecherries without crushing the pits. I use a steamer/juicer that is similar to a double boiler that works really well. When you have your juice, place it in a large pot and stir in the other ingredients. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Watch the pot carefully because it can easily over boil. Ladle into jars. If you plan to can and store the syrup. Water bath the jars with the proper canning jars and lids for 10 minutes.