I was complaining for a whole week about how there would be no local cherries this year due to weather conditions. But then I stopped in at the Lawrence Farms Orchard in Newburgh expecting nothing more than a fun day with my son, and got rewarded with my favorite cherry: sours. I think sour cherries taste more like cherries than sweet ones do. Does that make sense? Last year, also a bad cherry crop, I made one sacred jar of sour cherry vanilla jam. It was so good that I cried a little inside every time I had a spoonful.
|Montmorency hanging on a tree.|
|Montmorency in a big bucket.|
To return to my story: I had four pounds of each kind. That's not a huge amount of cherries, but to be honest, cherries are kind of a pain to pit. Everybody has their favorite choice of pitter. I know OXO has one that is a favorite among jammers, like Hitchhiking to Heaven and Snowflake Kitchen. You might also want to check out Punk Domestics' Cherry Pitter Guide. There was some conversation recently among some canners about this topic, and I brought up how I used to pit them as a child: my mother handed me a bobby pin, stretched open, and you used the closed end to scoop out the pit. Miserable, some people commented. There is also the handy paper clip for scooping your pits. Or the ever handy no pitter style: use your hands and rip them open. I did this for the Montmorency cherries. Really they just slip out. But for the darker sour cherries, I used my trusty ancient pitter/press. It works pretty darn well for an old gal.
|The old gal done good.|
|No need for fancy stuff. I did four pounds in a half hour.|
|It's a "pitty" I have to wait so long to drink it!|