Monday, July 18, 2011

Life is a Bowl of Cherries...and some of them have pits

This post started out in my head much differently. In my head it involved gushing giddily over my new cherry pitter and raving about my delightfully decadent foray into the world of baking with fresh cherries and brown butter. That was before this ordeal really got going. And, while all's well that ends well, and it wasn't a complete disaster, now it's just a funnier story than it started out. So you're welcome. My failure is your laugh for the day.
It all started when I forgot the stinking milk. As we were driving away from the grocery store I remembered the most important item on the list. DANGIT! Fortunately for us, there is another grocery store on the way home, which is inferior in almost every way, except that it had fresh cherries on sale for $2.77/lb! 2 pounds please! And some milk. Once home with my ludicrous bag of cherries, it occurred to me that eating that many raw cherries would surely lead to digestive discomfort ranging on the scale from mild to explosive, so perhaps I should transform them into some kind of delectable dessert offering. And, as luck would have it, I was due to attend a potluck pool party in just a few days. Time to hit the world wide web and find the very best cherry-related recipe. And who did I find? One of my very favourite food bloggers, Deb at Smitten Kitchen, came through with several cheerful cherry choices. (I can't help myself.) And I went with Cherry Brown Butter Bars. Cherries + Butter = Yes.

I spent a day or so vaguely wondering how I would relieve 2 pounds worth of cherries of their pits without a) pulverizing them, b) turning our kitchen into a CSI crime scene and c) still having edible cherry bits left over. Then I discovered the cherry pitter. A device that actually removes pits from cherries, leaving the cherry otherwise intact. Why, in my lifelong devotion to the preparation and consumption of all things edible, had I never come across such a thing? I sped immediately to my nearest hardware store (because I didn't have a car and it was the only place within walking distance where I thought I might have a shot), and found one! For $3.29! SOLD! I skipped home, bursting at the seams with anticipation to give this whole cherry pitting thing a try.

But first it was naptime. I tell you that kid can sleep when she knows mama is waiting on pins and needles for her to wake up....


She's awake! We donned our aprons and got to work. Elle in charge of stemming, and mama (well, the cherry pitter, really) in charge of pitting. What a well oiled machine we were! Stem, pit, plop, stem, pit, plop, stem, pit - CRACK!...aww, dangit! One of the cherry pitting handles snapped off! Stupid plastic junk. Oh well, still half the cherries to go. I can work with one handle. Let's soldier on! Stem, pit, plop, stem, pit - CRACK!...what the? AAAARRRRGHHHHHHH! Okay, handles are for wimps anyway. One more pound to go, no problem. Wait a tic, the stemmer is going faster than the pitter, and all the cherries are plopping into the same that one pitted yet? Oh no! Never mind, it'll be fine. Let's just get this thing done....

So here's what they looked like:

Pretty delicious right? Yeah. They were pretty good. And as long as you were warned about the pits, you could probably escape serious dental injury. Or choking. Did I mention that there were about a dozen kids at this party?

The verdict:

No one died.
The bars without pits were decidedly better than the ones with pits.

I have renamed the Cherry Brown Butter Bars to the You Get What You Pay For Bars. And I'm on the lookout for a new cherry pitter.

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