You will rarely catch me cooking without a garlic press and a lemon squeezer — my year-round trusted sidekicks in the kitchen. But summertime brings a new friend to the table: the cherry pitter! My kids are head over heels for summertime cherries (who isn’t, really?). They love the sugary-sweet tang, I love the mega-dose of antioxidants (a recent USDA study found that Bing cherries have powerful anti-inflammatory properties). We don’t do much in the way of fussy cherry recipes at our house — just good ol’, pop-in-your-mouth fresh cherries as a side, snack or dessert.
I started pitting cherries for Oliver when he was just a babe to avoid choking. But at 4 and 3/4, that’s still his preferred method of cherry delivery. And now that Ruby has discovered the joy of pitted cherries, I find myself squeezing this handy tool more times a day than I’d prefer. But there is something so motherly and nurturing about taking the bad out of something so good, all for the joy of your kiddos. Sure, they’ll be at a disadvantage come their first cherry-pit spitting contest. But seeing their red-stained, smiling cheeks and chins as they devour ripe summer cherries is so worth it!
p.s. I assume the cherry pitter is self explanatory, but in the name of education I will add instructions.
Step 1. Wash your cherries! I try to go organic or at least rinse non-organics with a fruit and veggie wash.
Step 2. Remove stem.
Step 3. Place cherry in pitter, so that the mark left by the stem is on top.
Step 4. Press down firmly until pit is removed. (Watch out, the juice almost always splatters. So point the cherry away from you and aim at a paper-towel lined plate or bowl.)
Step 5. Try to not eat every other one.