Author Update: The Mysteries of Pears

            Pears may not be at all mysterious to you, but they have been for me. One worth solving. The first sweet, juicy bite of a pear brings true joy to one’s tongue. The texture of a ripe pear, not crunchy like a honey crisp apple, with more body than a plum, quickly dissolves in your mouth. Pears are a glorious treat.

Of course, pears are ripe for something less than a nanosecond. One minute they are hard rocks and in that same minute they can become dark brown mushy gunk unsuitable for eating. Kind of like avocados. I have a reliable mail order source for pears, about a third of which I discard because they have turned into that gunky mush while I was getting them out of the refrigerator, making my need to plant a tree a mystery. Nonetheless, the gardener in me could not refuse the challenge. 

My dear pear tree has produced baskets and basket of pears, none of them edible. By the time I decide they are ripe and ready to pick, they have gone to gunk. That is, when I pick one, it collapses into a rather disgusting mess in my hands. Those of you who have successfully grown pears are undoubtedly doubled in laughter or shaking your head in disdain for my ignorance.

This year, however, all of that changed. A quick search on the internet revealed that pears must be picked BEFORE they are ripe. That’s right. Pick pears before they are edible or you will never get to eat them. Pick them before they are ripe, but don’t eat them. Put them in a bag, place it in a cool, dark, dry space, and wait. Check them every 27 seconds. (That was supposed to be a joke. )

Actually, there is a window for ripening your harvested pears, sometimes as long as two or three weeks. As the first pears of this season became ready to eat, I devoured them. Then, the pears got a head of me, certainly too many to eat and even too many to give away. Confronted with a growing mass of exquisite pears, I tried canning them. 

 I was prepared for a major project canning pears. I sat down at my computer and began searching for recipes. To my delight and amazement it’s really easy if you have any experience canning. The recipe I settled on takes only 3 ingredients: water, sugar, pears. I had some for breakfast this morning and they were the best treat!

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