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May 20, 2013 / theyellowbungalowla

a good knife, a sturdy cutting board, &…

a bowl of pitted cherries

When asked, “what equipment is essential to a kitchen?” I usually reply with a small list that begins with a good-quality knife and a sturdy cutting board. With those two items, along with the essential skillet, sauce pan, and stock pot, one can create endless deliciousness. The kitchen at the bungalow is small with a limited amount of storage, so I need equipment that has multiple uses to maximize the space. For me, it’s difficult to justify a special pot for steaming asparagus when that space could just as easily be used to store another item, like a mixing bowl that also goes in the oven and can also be used to serve dinner. Besides, I can steam asparagus in a skillet or in a stock pot, and would rather spend that $50 on good cheese or incredible olive oil. I’m just sayin’…and I’m guessing that most cooks feel this way. We reach for the same few pieces of equipment, the workhorses of our kitchens that we rely heavily on for the everyday task of feeding our selves, families, and friends.

There are exceptions to this line of thinking, though.

If you’ve been reading the blog lately, or been following “theyellowbungalowla” on Instagram, you will see that I’m particularly smitten with the spring cherries that showed up at the farmers market a couple of weeks ago. They are glorious to look at, with their shiny skin and deep red pigment, plump with sweet tart juicy goodness. The season is short – too short, in my opinion – so I admit that I’m taking advantage by buying a large bag every time I walk by a stand at the farmers market. It’s a bit of an expensive habit but since I don’t own an asparagus steamer, and don’t have room for one anyway, I guess I’m justified in overindulging in fresh cherries. And everyone could use some extra anti-oxidants in their diet, right?!

Fresh cherries are a perfect snack for driving (sitting) in LA traffic, or for snacking on while breezing through Season 2 of Downton Abbey (I’m a little behind, but catching up quickly!), no special equipment needed. I will never tire of popping them in my mouth, savoring their sweet meaty goodness, then spitting the pit back into my pit bowl. It takes me back to when I was a kid, and felt like I was breaking the rules by spitting cherry pits. Clearly I was a real handful growing up, seeing that spitting cherry pits made me feel like a mischievous rule-breaker.

Busy weekdays full of work, errands, commitments, and life in general can get in the way of savoring your cherries and spitting the pits back into a pit bowl. This is where the cherry pitter comes in. I’m pretty sure that aside from pitting cherries and maybe the occasional olive, this tool has no other uses. It completely fits the description of the “asparagus steamer” category and yet I think it’s an essential kitchen tool, one that definitely deserves a place in the gadget drawer alongside the veggie peeler and meat thermometer (two other essentials, I would argue).

Yesterday I used my cherry pitter to prep a giant bowl of cherries. There used to be a “splash guard” on one end of the tool but it’s been lost over the years and mountains of cherries that have pitted and devoured, thanks to this handy tool. To avoid staining my clothes and my kitchen, I set up an assembly line in the sink: colander of washed cherries, a second colander for shooting the pits into (pits + garbage disposal don’t mix), and a pretty bowl to store the pitted cherries in. It’s a small time investment – about :15 minutes at first, quicker once you get the hang of it – for a gorgeous bowl of cherries ready for snacking and adding to all kinds of things, including but not limited to yogurt and cereal, pies and pastries, and even sandwiches (cherry + cream cheese crostini, anyone?).

cherry pitter = essential tool


Leave a Comment
  1. koske / May 20 2013 8:27 pm

    As an asparagus steamer owner, I can attest to their meaninglessness. And my shame in purchasing said limited use object;)

    • theyellowbungalowla / May 21 2013 5:25 am

      there is no way you own one of those. i don’t believe you for a second.


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