Attaining pearity

Pasaquan sand pears

“Okay, we’ve got the fruit, now what do we do with it?” I ask Jenn.

Our sack was full of 15 pounds of pears, offered to us for the picking by fellow board members at the Pasaquan folk art compound. “One of the side benefits of being a board member,” kidded Cathy, only it wasn’t really a joke, since we scored a few pounds of pecans from there last year. Anyway, a couple of fruit-laden trees were otherwise going to drop their payloads for only the benefit of the neighbor’s dogs.

So we had our loot, but neither Jenn nor I have ever done anything with sand pears — or Kieffer pears. You can’t really eat ’em straight off the tree, folks say. Too hard, they say. The skin’s too gritty, they say.

pear picker

But the other board members had lots to say on the matter themselves:

  • One says he enjoys them straight off the tree — critics be damned.
  • Thin slice ’em, then eat ’em, says another.
  • Another reports the  pear skins would lose the sandy texture after cold storage.
  • Cut ’em in chunks and add to a bean, corn and pepper salsa, suggests someone else.
  • Artist Bond Anderson really got his mind a-whirling. He took some home and sautéed slices in unsalted butter (he suggests peeling them first next time). Then he poached them in dry white wine.

“Wow!  You could go many places with these: hot pepper sauce, cream, blue cheese, tilapia or other mild fish, chicken breasts, a couple of figs, contrast with Kalamata olives and sautéed firm tofu, and don’t forget morning oatmeal!” he wrote.

Can you tell we all like us some food?

I think we’ll leave ours on the shelf for a week or two to let them soften a bit, then we Jenn will can most of them. But I’ve got another idea for a few.

Back in New Year’s resolution-time, I promised Jenn I’d make us an outdoor food-drying rack this year. I’ve got a great set of simple plans from an awesome book I got for Christmas, Betsy Matheson’s über-practical  “DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner.” If I can find a good salvage window this week, I’ll tackle that little construction project this weekend.

I’m already envisioning those dehydrated pear slices thrown into a delicious trail mix.

Check back for an update on the drying rack soon. I can pearly wait.



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