Oh my goodness. This past summer I decided I wanted to buy more fresh fruit. I also decided, that since my family is small, and we’re not huge fruit eaters, that freezing said fruit would be a good idea.
So walking around the produce section at Walmart one Saturday, I saw cherries were on sale. I love cherries (ok, the cherries I speak of are usually the ones found in Sonic Cherry Limemades or on top of hot fudge sundaes) and I thought it might be “fun” to bring home a pound or two and use them. For what, I wasn’t sure, and how, I had no idea. But I bought the cherries.
I got home and googled how to pit them. Yeah. Why do I never like to do things the easy way? Like, I don’t know, buy already pitted cherries? From what I read, I knew it would take a while to do, so I waited until Caleb was in bed. Cliff was gone for his annual training with the Navy. Good thing. He probably would have laughed at me. Actually, knowing my sweet husband, he would have helped me figure out the best way to do it. And his way would have probably been so much better.
Anyway, I digress.
There were several theories out on the web on the best way to pit cherries. First of all, most folks agreed that cherry pitters are very handy. If you have one. Or if you can find one in the store. I was out of luck on both. So, then came the suggestions. Use a toothpick. I tried that, and immediately squirted bright red cherry juice all over myself. Whoah, this stuff was like hair dye.
Looked for some plastic gloves. After finding none, I went with the next best thing. Freezer bags for my hands. Remember how when you were kids, your mom threw the plastic ziplock bags over your shoes so they wouldn’t get wet in the snow? And you ended up slipping all around anyway, BECAUSE of the slick plastic ziplock bags on your shoes? Yeah, plastic bags on your hands have almost the same effect with cherries. Just in case you were wondering.
Once I finally figured out a way to use the bags without popping myself in the face with a cherry, it was time to figure out the best tool.
First one I read about, as I said, was the toothpick. It was tricky to find the seed and pop it out. I was hoping I could just stab it and push it through, but it didn’t work very well.
Next, I tried an opened safety pin. I thought I might be able to do it similar to the way we open and remove the pit from avocados. Except with those we take a knife and hit it into the pit which then sticks to the knife and we take it out that way. Really didn’t work. The only things I kept poking were my fingers.
Finally, I tried another suggestion I’d read about, I think from one of Martha Stewart’s sites. Take a cake decorating tip (metal) and use it to pop out the cherry pit. Of course, I had no metal decorating tips, but I did have a plastic Pampered Chef one… and that would have to do.
The tool did the job for the most part. And while the cherries weren’t the prettiest in the world, since I knew I was freezing most of them, I didn’t care that much. Be warned – if you have a lot of cherries, be prepared to get comfortable. It will take awhile. And this isn’t for the clean at heart. You’ve been told.
Then came time to freeze them. Take a baking tray and lay them out separately. Stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours or over night and voila, done! Take them off the tray and stick them in a small quart size bag (I did several of these) and then put all of those together in a large gallon size and label the gallon one along with the date. Oh, and if you’d like to make sure there’s as little air in the bag as possible, but you don’t have a vacuum sealer – take a straw and suck out the air that way. It really does work! We have enjoyed (OK, I have enjoyed – my husband’s not a big fan of them) adding these little wonders to our smoothies in the morning! You can also do any other berry the same way – blueberries, strawberries, and bananas too.