These blog posts are written long hand first. I'm not sure why except I can do it when I want - especially in boring meetings. Another thing I do in boring meetings, an aside: I spend too much time in meetings - is think of flavors combinations that I think would be interesting to try (read: nectarine and jalapeno jam). This is partly due to a fascination with canning. Oh, an due to my love of a new (for me) book The Flavor Bible. It is fascinating - the book has given me a new way to think about flavor.
When I want to develop a new recipe, often times, I'll sit around eating something (cherries) while smelling or tasting other things. So when I wanted to pickle some cherries, I ate cherries and smelled herbs and spice to see what seemed to fit. I have yet to look at the cherry section of The Flavor Bible to see if I've made some dreadful mistake, but in a couple of weeks when I taste the cherries, then I'll go look at the book.
Recipe Note: Cherries pickled with white wine vinegar, cloves, black peppercorns, and bay.