First I had to pit the fruit. I couldn't get any volunteers to help with the work so I plugged my iPod into my ears and listened to podcasts while I got the wood stove nice and hot. I use an unbent paper clip because I find it much more effective than my store-bought cherry pipper.
Because whole cherries tend to fall off the toast I cut all the fruit into small pieces before putting them into a pot to soften on a slow heat. At this time I added the juice and grated rind of one and a half lemons. Why that number? Because that's what I had and because last year I had a lot of trouble getting the jam to set, and I think it's because one lemon isn't quite enough. I was also very patient softening the cherries because although I hate to see them lose their shape, they do make better jam if they are really soft. This took about half an hour.
When the bubbles subsided somewhat and the jam began to thicken a little, I took it off the stove and put a spoonful of jam on the cold plate and put it back in the freezer. After a couple of minutes I pushed the blob with my finger and when it didn't wrinkle, I returned the pot to the stove to cook some more. I actually had to do this a couple of times, each time removing the pot while I waited to see if the jam was cooked. I think this is where I usually go wrong. I was nervous about overcooking it and caramelising the sugar, but I was also anxious to make sure it was jam and not syrup. Once I felt it was done I poured it into my sterilised jars and covered them tightly.
This morning I couldn't wait to try some on my breakfast Weetbix. It was perfect! Yay!