Get ready for some MacGyver moves. If you ever find yourself without a cherry pitter and have 9 pounds of cherries to prepare for canning, just grab a paper clip and open it up to make a “hook” on each end. The first few cherries will be a little awkward, but after that you’ll get the motion down and fly through the pile. I was really surprised at how well it worked! It was also pretty satisfying to keep one more uni-tasking kitchen tool out of our apartment, although I suppose you could use a cherry pitter for olives too.
If you’re a little nutty about presentation like I am, you’ll also like that using a paper clip to pit cherries only makes one hole in the fruit, leaving it prettier for pies and cocktails. I even slipped the pit through the hole created by the stem without even tearing the cherry a couple of times. One cautionary note, though, also for people worried about appearances. My hands turned, as you can see, a really sexy shade of blue pretty quickly. They stayed that way for a few hours, but were almost clean the next morning after a fairly standard amount of hand washing. I think a regular pitter would be cleaner, but not nearly as fun.