I saw this on Fine Cooking and wanted to share.
How to Pit a Cherry
There are lots of ways to pit a cherry, and if you cook with cherries often, it's worth buying a dedicated cherry pitting tool. But you can also improvise with objects that may already be in your home.
Buy a pitter...
|Hand-held cherry pitter This Cuisipro model improves on the standard design by adding a shovel-like edge to the pitter, allowing for quick, one-handed scooping up and pitting of single cherries.|
|Hopper-style pitter For frequent or bulk cherry pitting, the Leifheit Cherrymat cherry stoner is a must-have. Load a bunch of cherries in the hopper and smack down on the handle over and over-pitted cherries roll out of the shoot and pits fall neatly into the container below.|
...or improvise one (we had success with all of these methods)
|Wooden skewer Insert the point of the skewer into the stem end and gently work it down and around the pit until it loosens enough to be pried out.|
|Paper clip Unbend a clip into an "S" shape. Work one end of the clip down into the stem end of a cherry until you can hook under and pull out the pit.|
|Drinking straw Poke and then twist a plastic drinking straw into the blossom end of the cherry to remove a plug of the cherry flesh-this makes an exit for the pit. Next, twist the straw into the stem end, pushing gently but firmly until the pit pops out the other side.|
|Pastry tip As with the drinking straw, press and twist the blossom end of a cherry onto a small star tip to remove a plug. Turn the cherry over and firmly twist the stem end onto the tip until the pit pops out.|