While I am doing childcare and on the USDA food program (monthly 'reimbursement' check for feeding balanced meals by their guidelines & turning in completed paperwork) I have to freeze to preserve anything I plan to feed the children later. No Home Canned items --boo! as I have more cupboard space than freezer space but I do what I can.
This year, I have frozen produce such as; pumpkin, green beans, zucchini, stewed tomatoes, bananas, pear butter, & applesauce.
I love fresh pears just about any way I can get them; plain, dipped in vanilla yogurt, or with some hot fudge sauce on the side (ahem), and pear butter was something I loved to buy at our local Farmer's Market last year. I like it so much I could eat it out of the jar with a spoon, oh yes, I could & maybe I have.
So, when a childcare family asked if I'd like some pears from their tree this summer, I gratefully accepted, thinking there would be enough to serve for a lunch, breakfast & maybe a snack, we would take the opportunity to talk about the tree being at so-and-so's house, that they brought them to share with us, how they grow, when to know when to pick them, & what their family does with them, etc. but they blessed me with 2 grocery sack fulls of fresh pears! So we ate them, talked about them AND I got to make pear butter TOO! win-win. I was really nervous when I went recipe hunting, as usually things like this take all day, need a bushel of produce or must be canned for preservation. I had no idea it was so easy & they love it on everything from a biscuit, to dinner roll, toast, waffle or pancake (I don't serve syrup anymore) and I even like it on a peanut butter sandwich during nap time :)
I am not going to recreate the wheel on this one & share all of the details because I followed this pin almost exactly, minus the lemon juice (I was out & since I was freezing it anyway, it didn't matter but if you are going to can yours, don't forget it) & I am on the lazy side & didn't peel the pears. I don't peel any.thing. potatoes, tomatoes, apples, carrots, pears, bananas-ha, okay, yes, I peel bananas & oranges but most everything else with an edible peel I don't. Mostly, because they say that the majority of the nutrients of the produce are in the skin & I am all about getting the most bang for my buck when it comes to food. Oh yea, that & I am lazy & don't like to peel. :) Leaving the peel in did give it a bit of a gritty texture but knowing that its pears, I already expected a bit of that texture so I don't mind & none of the littles did either.
This batch, I froze in half pint jars -jelly jars- which is perfect size for the fridge door, squeezing into tight spaces in the freezer and gift giving. Which I am considering, but not sure if I am feeling that generous yet this season. ;)
I thought we were out of pear season but I scored some at the local market on Saturday & they are HUGE monsters! ~~~>
So, one after school snack later this week is sure to be pears, vanilla yogurt & homemade granola--build your own parfaits, a group fave!
What do you do with pears? Are you in an area with an abundance in the fall like me?