Reuben and I were up to our ears in peaches and blackberries last fall, and we canned enough jam from it to keep us happy through the long, cold winter and spring. Since we're leaving the Yakima valley before the local peach harvest, we had to find some other fruit to obsess over. This year it came in the form of cherries. Since we were helping out with u-pick cherries, it was the perfect opportunity to take our fruit straight from the tree to our table. It can't get any better than this. Although cherries are utterly laborious to pit, as evidenced by the calluses on my hands from the pitter and the dark red stains on my apron. I've made cherry pies, cherry cobbler, cherry-cream cheese bars, 6 pints of cherry jam, and about 10 quarts of whole cherries. I can't say that I would do the latter again in a heartbeat, but at least I know that we'll get our fill of Yakima fruit throughout the rest of the year.

Evie sat and watched me pit bowls and bowls of cherries. Now she has a new favorite food and a few more stains on her shirts.

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