This week we purchased three cases of Rainier cherries. These babies are so beautiful it's almost a shame that you can't keep them forever simply for their beauty. However, they're fragile and in spite of having eaten as many as we can personally eat, and having given them away to friends and family, we still had plenty left to can.
I've never canned cherries before. So I got out my Ball Blue Book, checked the instructions, and began work. I packed the first batch with whole cherries but my Beloved suggested we pit them. He helped which was a big factor in changing my canning methods.
It was pretty easy, really. Pull the twigs. In the case of the whole cherries, prick them slightly with a knife as I dropped them into hot syrup. And in the case of the pitted cherries, two pair of hands made work fairly quick.
I do have a cherry stoner (or cherry pitter), one of those hand-cranks. I've used it before on smaller sour cherries but the size of these beauties made it impossible to use the crank. So back to the quad-hand method we went.
A large bowl of fresh cherries is in the fridge and we'll eat them for a couple days more. The rest are lined up in a row on a basement shelf. Aren't they beautiful!?