We have been having a blast picking this summer now that the the twins are 3 and a half. This is the first Summer that we have been able to spend some time picking with the kids old enough to participate a little.
Here is what we have picked this year:
- Organic Blueberries at Minto Island Growers $1.74 ish per lb.
- Cherries with Salem Harvest-Free!
- Cherries at our generous friends the Askeys-Free!
- Broccoli with Salem Harvest-Free!
It was a little hard to decide what to do with all the cherries, but in the end I decided to just wash, pit, and freeze what we could not eat immediately.
Here are the steps I used to “put up” our cherries…
1) After I read about some different techniques to wash fruit I got excited about using vinegar and water. I figured that instead of a making a spray I could probably make a soak for them. I put 3 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar and let them soak for a few minutes and agitated with with my hand a bit. Then I fished them out with a shallow ladle type tool with holes in it.
2) After the soak I rinsed them in cold water for a bit to get the vinegar off and get them a little cleaner.
3) Next, I dumped them into my salad spinner to let them drip dry a little more without getting the counter soaked.
4) Now it was time to pit! Little Miss woke up from her nap and was so excited to help me. It was our first summer harvest we have gotten to work on together and a great memory. She was very helpful and so eager. Her job was to pull the stems off and keep my hopper full in the cherry pitter. She took pride in her work and said some of the funniest things. “Oh look at this tiny sad one Mama! You think she will be okay (cherries are obviously girls)?” She also told me, “I am a Mama” and made it clear that she was feeling so very grown up.
This was my first summer using the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Pitter. I bought it from Azure Standard and I have no idea how I would have done this job without it.
4) I then bagged the pitted cherries flat in zipper bags. I got as much of the air out as I could and then stacked a couple bags on a cookie sheet to freeze. After they were frozen flat in bags I rearranged them in our freezer.
These will be great for smoothies, baking, mixing into ice cream, and cobblers! What a blessing to fill our freezer with free fruit!