Ping! Ping! Ping!

It’s after 10 pm on a Sunday night, and as I’m writing this I’m hearing a “ping, ping” sound coming from the kitchen.

This sound is very exciting to a canner!
This sound means my jars are sealing tight. It’s music to my ears and soon I’ll be putting these beautiful jars on my shelves for the winter, or even a year or two. Did you know that your canned goods can last as long as a couple of years?

Let’s start with these old jars!
I purchased these jars years ago for $1 a box at a yard sale, and then the canner for $3 a few years later. Every canning season when I pull these boxes out of my garage, to wash the jars, I can’t help but think of how old they are, and the history behind them. Whose hands handled these jars in the past and what did they can? What is their story? Who ate the contents? Were the canned goods as loved in their home, as they are in ours?

Tonight was my first time to ever can cherries!
Although tonight was my first time for canning cherries, my fondest memories go back to over 40 years ago where my mom canned “Bing” cherries. We ate them like candy in our household. They were sweet and we’d have a separate little dish that we’d spit the seeds into. My sisters and I would sit down in one sitting and eat an entire jar. Our childhood friend, Adrienne, loved coming to our house for “Millie’s canned cherries.”

One thing was unusual tonight.
As my kids were helping me out, and having a great time (splattering cherry juice all over the floor and cupboards), they were experiencing something different than when I was a kid. This last winter I had purchased a “cherry stoner” from a kitchen store up the street that was going out of business (thank you Judy, for the sweet deal you gave me.) It’s a device used to separate the cherry from its seed. I had never heard of a cherry stoner because my mom canned cherries with the seeds in!

The stoner worked like a charm.
My kids took turns, popping the cherry in and pulling down on the handle. Immediately the seed goes straight down into a dish, and the cherry rolls out into a bowl. They were getting into it. It was so easy!

Cherries make a huge mess!
I scrubbed the kitchen down, floor to cupboards, from splattered juice. I lined up my pretty jars in the window to seal and to cool. Yes, I took a picture, but really I couldn’t help but think of my mom. I know if she could have joined me last night, she would have. I wonder if she would have encouraged me to leave the seeds in the good ol’ fashioned way – or if she would have been excited about my stoner?

I wore an apron!
Because of the mess, of course I wore my apron. And if you look closely (top photo) you’ll see one aqua-blue button, which makes this apron so very cute (thank you, Julia)! But even cuter and more precious was when my daughter asked if she could wear an apron last night. Of course I said yes!

Ping, ping, ping!” Oh, that beautiful sound to a canner's ears.

(Remember there are many canning websites on the web – just google “canning” or whatever you want to can, and you’ll be amazed at the help you’ll receive!)


Tara said...

I made jam for the first time this year and got all excited when I heard the pings, too.
My mom wouldn't let us help in the kitchen but I remember being little and sitting at the counter after the jam was done, listening for the pings and pops and looking at the rows of pretty jars.

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I remember when we went to my aunt's house in Salem as a child and had canned bing cherries. Being a girl from the Midwest that was a very special treat!!

There is nothing quite like it!! YUM!

GiBee said...

Oh, how I love the sound of those pings!!! And looking in my pantry and knowing I have yummy stuff stored up for the winter is exciting!!

I've been wanting a cherry pitter (that's what we call them) for a long time... I am, after all, a kitchen gadget junkie!!

Your cherries look beautiful, and your apron is gorgeous!

La Tea Dah said...

I just finished canning cherries as well. This year I canned both Bings and Rainiers --- yummy winter ahead!

~j~ said...

what a delicous, glorious mess! I am so excited for you canning these cherries, and isn't it so true the memories that get stirred up for alot of us when we are canning.
That cherry pitter looked like the golden ticket for this endeavor! Great find.
Enjoy the fruit of your labor :)
xo j

Kimberly said...

I finished canning tomatoes sauce last night sometime after midnight. I've been doing strawberries and jams and will attempt pickles tonight or tomorrow. This is the first time I've ever done this. Hope everything turns out ok.
Rnjoy your cherries!

Becky Dellar said...

Looks delicious!!!

Susie said...

Reading this post makes me so hungry for a cherry pie. I had no idea about a cherry stoner either.

Precious apron too(:

Kirstin said...

Very cool! So tell me...do fresh canned cherries taste better than the maraschino ones? I'm sure they do...duh..and are probably completely different, but I've never had fresh canned cherries, and I cannot stand the maraschino ones, or fake cherries as I call them. I love your apron by the way!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Would your cherry stoner work for olives? I grew up on an olive farm but we always sold the olives and never dealt with them ourselves. I'd love to try those as they are some of my favorite food. Your cherries turned out beautiful.

Rhonda said...

I haven't canned in years. But - I loved it when I did it. Mmmm. I prefer canned jam to the freezer types.

I want to know.....How come you always look so lovely in your pictures - perfect hair, makeup, outfit - when you've just finished doing all of this work??? :)

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidijayhawk said...

i remember that ping from my grandmother's house growing up! thanks for refreshing my memory.

Jen said...

I hope to can tomatoes this summer....your cherries look awesome.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

My mom and I would have such fun listening to the pops of the can- and I was always kind of glad when one wouldn't seal 'cause it meant we could use the food right away! Yum!!

Enjoy those cherries this winter!!


Ginger said...

I'm not quite ready for the canning experience, but seeing your beautiful jars of cherries freshly canned makes me want to reconsider!

Kelly said...

Your cherries look gorgeous, Sandy! Mouther-wateringly so! :o) I love when my two year old asks for "her apron" - and last week in the grocery storm when were in the spice aisle and she called it "Mommy's lane"...oh the joy!

Debbie (hmsclmom) said...

Funny you should post this...guess what I am doing today? ;) I have that same cherry pitter and will be working on the Chinook cherries from our tree. :) I also have another stoner for larger fruits like peaches and apricots. They make canning so much easier.


Sara at Miller Moments: said...

I just did 31 quarts of peaches last night - and I'm only halfway through my 6 bushels full! I'm thrilled, and exhausted, too. I remember that my grandparents in the Willamette Valley canned Ranier cherries when I was young - they weren't red, like yours, but a lighter pinkish color. MAN were they good! Here's to canning fun!!!

linda t said...

Growing up on a dairy farm in WI, my sisters and I helped my Mom can EVERYTHING!!
As 4-Hers we always entered our best jars in the County Fair to be judged. I still have all my ribbons from my 10 years in 4-H.

My Mom still has a huge garden and cans or freezes her bounty. I can't wait to see the fruits of her labor when we visit in October.

sarah@ a beach cottage said...

oh there's nothing like those lined up jars, I love the contented feeling when that job is done, and then the sweet smell of summer when you open them months later!

see you there! said...

Jars of jewels. Rubies? Garnets? Just looking at them of your shelves must make you feel rich.


Rachelle said...

Sandy, why do your posts always make me jealous? I aspire to cherry canning but may never get there. Perhaps I'll make it to your neck of the woods someday and I can taste some of yours. Happy summer!

Sara at Miller Moments: said...

OK, I already posted, but I had to let you know that after my long day of doing peaches - I ran to the store to grab some steaks and corn for the grill so I wouldn't have to heat up my kitchen further by doing something in the oven. GUESS WHAT WAS ON SALE??? 10 pounds of cherries are now on my agenda for the day!

You are quite the inspiration!! :)

Ahrisha said...

I have been reading your blog for some time now and I have to say I enjoy being part of your blog family. My Moms name is Millie too. How amazing is that? Not a very popular name. She was one of 8 kids and is 87 years young. When I was a kid we canned cherries also. First we went to the orchard with the Aunts and Uncles and picked them then the next day we all got together and canned. It was so much fun.
Ahrisha in PA.

gracemercyandpeace said...

Love the pings, and LOOOVE the Bings!

deb meyers

Ornery's Wife said...

I just bought some 1/2 pint jars today to make homemade tomato paste. Your cherries look delickity, and remind me of the only time I have ever canned before--28 years ago!

Dave's grandma helped me and we canned many quarts (I don't remember how many) of sour cherries we picked from her sister's trees (she called them pie cherries) and made cherry jelly. Mmm. Those were so good.

Shelly G & Hope P said...

Oh my goodness, I have old jars just like that in their boxes that my mom used to use and I have used. I haven't filled them in awhile. Your post brought back lots of canning memories:)