Cherries herald in the summer stone fruit season. And boy am I glad they do. I suppose any fruit would do after a boring winter of canned this and dried that. But it was cherries that received the special honor (I know rhubarb is really first but actually it’s a vegetable I think). Recently I received 6 pounds of organic sweet cherries from a fabulous mail order fruit company. What to do with so much fruit I wondered? Because you better believe that I was not going to let one single cherry get moldy and be thrown away on my watch. Off I went to my canning books.
But before I could even get the book open my son popped a cherry in his mouth, chewed and swallowed it all, I managed to grab the stem as he was swallowing. Okay now I had a new problem, I needed a way to pit the “balls” as he calls them, so he could actually enjoy them too. I started cutting around the seed but that was unacceptable to an almost 2 year old boy because then they weren’t “balls” anymore and he wanted “balls.” I remembered reading in Cook’s Illustrated about using a wine bottle and a chopstick to pit them. Hmm sounds strange.
All we had was a beer bottle, go figure, so I gave it a try. To my surprise it actually worked. Here’s what you do.
I found that it worked better if the cherry was upside down and you aimed for the tiny mark on the bottom left by the flower. When the cherry is rightside up I had several bottom halves of the cherry rip off and fall into the bottle. Losing any bit of my cherry was unacceptable and turning it upside down solved the problem.
My son was pleased with the “balls” and I was too. Now onto canning. FYI I will be making Cherry Preserves from The Art of Preserving. I’ll let you know how it turns out.