Here in Boston, the weather has really been warming up. You would think that makes it the wrong time of year to be thinking about making a heating pad, but I’m here to tell you that now is the perfect time to start working on this project. Why? Because cherries are in season.
I know this sounds really strange, but go with me here for a minute. You see, cherry pits do something awesome when you put them in the microwave: they will stay warm for like 3 hours. And they smell wonderful.
So start collecting cherry pits. Save them, clean them up, and sew a little cloth bag to put them all in. And come winter, when you need a little warmth or have a headache, this will be the best thing in the world.
This will also work well as an ice pack too if kept in the freezer. Just make sure to keep it in a Ziploc bag so it doesn’t get dried out.
You can use any number of things to hold heat or cold for long periods of time: corn (not popcorn of course!), soybeans, rice. But of all of them, the cherry pits definitely smell the best. Corn would be a close second, but it’s hard to find good dried corn outside of a farm town. (That’s what I used to make them when I lived in Ohio.) And when you do find it, it usually comes mixed with those animal feed pellets that you have to sift out.
The downside (or upside!) is that you’ll need to eat a lot of cherries. And I mean a lot. The standard size bag I like to make is with a cloth placemat folded in half lengthwise and sewn shut. A bag that size takes about 5 cups of filler. And a 2 lb. bag of cherries will yield about ¼ cup of pits. So it will take a while. But if you like cherries as much as I do, it’s a good excuse to eat them.