My grandmother had cherry trees, grape vines and an apple orchard, while our neighbors raised blackberries and strawberries, so growing up, making preserves was a must if we wanted to avoid wasting all of that delicious fruit. As an adult, I shunned the practice until a few years ago, but found that like riding a bike, it came back to me and isn’t very labor intensive if you have the right tools. (I can’t recommend a hand-crank sieve highly enough.) The burst of flavor that comes in every jar is well worth the labor and I find that friends and family are thrilled to receive homemade preserves as a gift. For those who aren’t culinarily inclined, there are countless options at farmer’s markets and at your favorite grocery store that will elevate your morning toast or biscuits, as well as yogurt, brie and your cocktails this summer. But making them yourself and enjoying the fruits of your labor is the cherry (preserves) on top of the ice cream.