Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cherry Pits from my teeth to my toes

Many, many years ago, my sister bought be a bag of cherry pits.  The bag is made of cloth (so, like a beanbag) and decorated with cows, which is a family joke/tradition.  A cloth bag full of cherry pits makes a good heating pad, she told me:  toss it in the microwave for a bit, pull it out, and cuddle up with it.  With our current microwave, the "popcorn" (2 minute) setting seems to be about perfect.

Here's a brief diversion comparing cherry pits to hot water bottles, ecologically:

  • The cherry pit bag was made by a local artisan near my sister's home; I don't know which companies and factories make water bottles.
  • Heating up a cherry pit bag takes less energy and time than heating up water for a hot water bottle.
  • When the cherry pit bag breaks (for example, gets a rip), it's a simple matter to sew up the hole.  When the water bottle springs a leak, it's beyond fixing, as far as I know.
  • When the cherry pit bag is finally beyond repair someday, it's all compostable.  The hot water bag isn't.
Baby A loves playing with it as a beanbag.  My sons yell for it when they come in from a chilly bike ride with frozen hands.  So for a bunch of reasons, I've become sort of fond of this object.  

But I had no idea until recently that my cherry pit bag would be good for my teeth.

This requires a bit of explanation, starting with my toes, which are highly susceptible to cold.  (How susceptible?  So susceptible that I actually spent more than $10 for a pair of warm running shoes a few years ago---that's how uncomfortable my toes can get).   Earlier this winter, I decided that I had an easier time getting to sleep if the transition to bed included a toe-warming-component.  So I started heating up the cherry pit bag just before bed time, and then tossing it under the covers where the warmth could do my toes some good.  (Better than a metal pan filled with hot coals, which is what people used to use in the days before central heating!)

But what to do in those two minutes while the cherry pits were warming up?  I brushed my teeth.  I know people are supposed to brush for at least two minutes, but it's hard to know just how long two minutes actually is.  If I tossed the bag in the microwave and then brushed until I heard the microwave ping, time seemed to stretch forever . . . I guess that means I hadn't been brushing that long beforehand.

At any rate, my dentist has always complimented my on my dental hygiene.  (Three gold stars for me?).  But this last time I went, she said, "You've been doing something different.  There's like, almost no plaque!"  So I told her about the cherry pit timer technique.  Apparently, they're good for my teeth as well as for my toes.


  1. Awww. I love the cows.

    Just don't chew cherry pits! I like you not cyanide poisoned, thanks.

    Also, apparently they are epically hard to compost. I wonder if long term regular microwaving makes that easier. The next time I write a sci fi story about a mutant sentient plant, I know what I'm using for its seed mutation / origin story!

    1. Oh, good point! Yes, I keep the cherries in the bag, not in my mouth!

      (This video the danger of chewing on cherry pits, among other things:

  2. I'm going back to re-read your post and take notes! My daughter's homework is another and the scheduling of it is another part-time job for me. Thank you and best wishes of academic success to your family.