Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I mentioned in my blueberry post that my awesome hubby volunteered (well, actually suggested and then followed through) to get extra cherries for me and a new cherry pitter. Whole Foods was having one of their one-day sales, which I love. They'll put one item on sale for a wonderful price just for that one day. We've gotten whole chickens, grass-fed beef, organic blueberries, and lots of other items on sale this way. It's a great way to stock up, and I always get plenty to freeze for later! If you haven't signed up for their newsletters, you should so you'll know about their one-day sales. They happen maybe once a month? You can also find out about them on their facebook page (here's the main store one and our local store's page). This time, it was organic cherries.

Cherries is another item we try to only get organic. It's not one of the dirty dozen, but it does fall at #16 this year. (I have seen them included in the dirty dozen many other times, though. The list changes slightly each year.) Click here to find the list, and then click "full list" to go to...the full list (not just the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen). But they are pretty pricey, so it's a special treat for us when we can get our hands on a bunch.

AND....I LOVE cherries. I really do. It used to be just tart cherries. Growing up, there were two huge cherry trees in our back yard. I have very fond memories of climbing the trees to collect all those juicy, tart cherries. I would go as high as I possibly could to get as many as I could reach; I was such a tomboy and miss all that running around, climbing trees, getting dirty! Thinking back on it all makes me so happy. And sad that I don't have that yard now. We had the cherry trees and a humongous strawberry patch - I mean, it was huge! (Not to mention the rest of Mom's incredibly huge garden, but that didn't excite me at the time.) ;) What I wouldn't do now to have it ALL in my own backyard... Anyway. Back to the cherries. When I was pregnant with Aiden, I could hardly eat anything because I have hyperemesis gravidarum (meaning: SEVERE all-day sickness - it's actually a disorder, not just getting sick every now and then). So, anything I *could* eat and keep down, I did. For some reason, strawberries and cherries were on that short list. Off-season, Ryan would often be headed to Whole Foods for organic strawberries, so I could eat them every day. Since I was pregnant, we started trying to stick to organic, especially with the dirty dozen list. Can we say expensive?? Bless his heart. Then in the summer, it was cherries. And organic cherries are even more expensive. I didn't get them every day, but I got them when I could. Before this, I didn't like the sweet cherries as well (but that's what was available!), but they grew on me, and I loved them in no time. They're probably one of my favorite summer fruits. So, when they had a one-day sale on organic cherries, I was there, baby.

I bought about almost 7 pounds of cherries when I went. After we got home, Aiden and I could not stop eating these things. He must have gotten his love for them in the womb, seeing as I ate so much when I was pregnant. Haha! (Ryan does not share our love for cherries.) I told Ryan I already regretted not getting more cherries because they were incredibly good! But I was trying to stick to our food budget, so I hadn't bought more...but oh, how I wished I had! That wonderful man I married offered to stop by on his way home, even though it was definitely not on the way, and get some more. He showed up with about 8 more pounds. And he found a pitter on-line, then went and bought it in the store the next day.

I really love this man.

The last couple years, when we have bought some cherries, I've commented that I wonder if we should invest in a pitter. I can eat them fine without one, but I have to pit Aiden's cherries, obviously. But we never really bought enough to make it worth it, and it didn't seem necessary. This year, that child couldn't stop eating them, and I intended on freezing a LOT, which meant a lot of pitting. I'm so glad he bought the pitter! It turns out to be a really nice one, too, so if you're in the market... We recommend this one. I thought based on the picture that it might be kind of cheap, but it really is not. And it works so well. There's even a video on the website showing how it works. It does exactly what it says it does - too easy! A purchase I definitely do not regret. Every time I used it, I couldn't help but thinking, "I love this thing!" No kidding.

Pitted cherries ready for the freezer. The only mess is from cutting them in half, and, as you can see...it's hardly a mess.
These have already been pitted. See how nice they still look! Also, notice all the pits. It took me a few minutes to pit that many cherries. This thing is awesome.
No fancy recipes for cherries, folks. Most fruits, honesty, we prefer to eat just as nature intended...on their own, not messed up with anything else. That really is our favorite way. The cherries we didn't freeze, we just ate. And ate. The ones we froze will most likely be used in smoothies. Maybe some muffins or scones. Or Aiden really likes to eat them frozen. He really does. You should see what he does to the frozen blueberries when I get out a bag to add to smoothies. I've never seen someone eat frozen fruit the way this kid does!

I will add, though...a little bit of homemade vanilla ice cream, some cut up cherries, and a bit of hot chocolate sauce on top. Oh, you cannot resist that. Or I can't, at least. So delicious. If you ever go to Goodberry's around here, I highly recommend getting it with tart cherries mixed in (and then more tart cherries on top!), with or without the hot fudge. It's really equally good, either way. And now I seriously want some. It really is a good thing we don't live just down the street from them anymore... Being able to walk there in a few short minutes was nice but dangerous. *Sigh*

These are waiting to be devoured. They won't have to wait long. At all. 

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