I have 1.5 lbs of cherries from my CSA...and no cherry pitter. What is the beat thing(s) to do with this bounty?
Depending on size of cherries, you might need more or less than 1 lb.
Cherries in brandy with a vanilla bean, left until December = also amazing. No recipe necessary. Cover with booze and no processing is necessary, either. Use the vanilla bean for vanilla sugar when the cherries are gone. Use the boozey cherry liquid for cocktails. Both, wonderful. ;o)
Cherry Bombs - spicy pickled cherries from putsup.com:
Also a recipe on this page for tarragon pickled cherries.
I'm lucky to live near Opal's cherry orchard and whenever there's a good crop I'll pick gallons and gallons to put up. I always just freeze mine-- tossed into a ziplock bag with the air pressed out-- though I love the ideas here! We put the cherries in pies (cherry blackberry is our favorite) or smoothies--they add a really nice depth to smoothies. We also just throw some unpitted in the freezer and use them for a bright, tasty snack throughout our cold, monochrome winter (I live in Wyoming)-- just lightly defrost in the microwave and eat like you would fresh cherries. (Of course, the unpitted cherries are usually a result of pitting fatigue after hours spent pitting cherries.)
hacking a cherry pitter: http://food52.com/blog/3795-hacking-a-cherry-pitter