I’ve mentioned before that I grew up all 18 years of my childhood in the same house. We lived out in the country on 10 acres of land, in southeastern Arizona. My dad loved to garden, plant fruit trees, raise Christmas trees, etc. And even though he was an engineer by profession, he really loved to work the ground as a side hobby. We all kinda joke that the reason he and my mom had 7 children, was to help him to weed those 10 acres…but I wouldn’t trade anything for those skills. And work ethic. I mean, I hated it at the time, but 6:00 a.m. really is the best time to get up and start working before the Arizona sun really starts beating down!
Hands down, my favorite thing that we grew…were those tall leafy cherry trees (at least they seemed tall from my young girl perspective). We would climb those trees to the highest branches and gather the ripest cherries we could, before the birds got to them. We would fill apron sacks full of them and then stuff our bellies all spring/early summer long, until the crop would end! The peach, pear, plum and apricot trees were fun to harvest as well…..but those cherries were always my first choice — and I still love them to this day!
The only annoying thing about cherries though, is trying to remove those tiny pits before using them in recipes. Or removing the pits before feeding them to little mouths. But I learned a trick a couple years ago that has saved my sanity. And all you need is a plain old plastic straw. And the kids now LOVE pitting their own cherries!
And I have since adopted this trick to remove strawberry stems and centers…..while still keeping the strawberry in one piece. I have used a paring knife in the past, to carve out the strawberry core but I would end up wasting a lot of fruit. And a knife actually takes me longer to maneuver.
But using a straw — it’s a life saver! And mostly because I always have straws around, I always know right where they are, and every child can have one (and not fight over a single kitchen gadget) to use at the same time. And then when I’m baking with fresh cherries or strawberries, it speeds up the process so much!
Want to see my fruit pitting technique in action??? There are a few tricks that I use, so click on the VIDEO below…..and watch closely!
You’ll never try using a knife to cut your cherries/strawberries open again, right?
Hope this was helpful!