Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pears, pears, and more pears!

We went over to pick pears at my parent's house today. Hubby got out the ladder and the boys took turns climbing up to see if they could get the very biggest pears. Truth be told, we could have used a taller ladder, as many pears are still looming overhead, despite their most valiant efforts. Of course, I avoided ladder usage, prefering to limp on solid ground, steadying ladders, pointing out pears that were trying to avoid detection, and holding old grocery sacks and filling them up with the pears being lowered to me.

But, the boys laughed and carried on. It was good for them, too. DS10 loved it so much that he pulled out his pocket knife and tried to peel a pear to eat. With a little help from Mom (who has peeled a thing or two in her day) he dug into a nice, juicy one, just a few seconds off of the tree.

My parents are thrilled that the pears aren't going to waste. Granny brags that they are "organic" pears. But we laugh about that, because it really means that we're really all too lazy to do much of anything to the trees to help them out, organic or otherwise!

Looking at the trees, it became obvious that they do need some judicious pruning and a little compost for fertilizer wouldn't hurt whether we bought a couple of bags for each tree, or brought from home (but we don't have a huge production from our little pile, so we may not have enough, but we could mix some of our rabbit poop in with bought compost.

Then, we still are organic, but maybe helping the trees to stay a little healthier. I think it might be worth it.

We got 4 bags stuffed full of fresh, firm pears. This evening, we peeled, cored, and chopped 4 cups to be divided into 2 bags and frozen with a little lemon juice. We'll use this for 2 batches of my favorite Cranberry-Pear Conserve (or reasonably facsimilie thereof as I can't find the real recipe and will be winging it). I may eventually put up a bit more for some, but that was all we were up to tonight.

Then we prepared and processed 9 half pint jelly jars and 9 quarter pint jelly jars of pear jam. I must admit that I am really partial to the fruit butters with their rich cinnamon and cloves flavors, but the jellies and jams are so lovely, clear, and sparkly in their jars. They are gorgeous when they are sitting on a shelf. Ahhh.

As much as my foot is throbbing and this horrid boot is rubbing quite a bit into my calf, I must admit that there is nothing quite as enjoyable as seeing a physical result to the day's productivity. I can look at my work and see the results of my labors. It feels pretty darn good.

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