At the moment Apple season is in full swing, but a few weeks ago before our dreams were swamped with Macs and Spys, fritters and pies;
we were in Pearadise.
You see we had three different pear trees (owned by three different people, and therefore in three different locations) offered to us for picking. So any spare afternoon, off we would go baskets and ladders in tow to pick the pears. Not all the pear trees (alright, most of them) were not pick-from-ground-height. So sometimes extreme measures had to be taken.
Often that simply meant on a ladder with a pear/apple picker to extend your reach.
Other times though, it meant standing on top of the 8 foot ladder (yes, I mean on the part that says "no standing sitting or leaning" etc..) and using the rest of your 7-8ft. reach to get those stubborn pears at the top.
To be honest, only Josiah had the balance and bravery to attempt the a fore mentioned feat. The rest of us applaud, caution, and stay far enough down the ladder to be perfectly safe and comfortable, if not with both feet planted on the ground.
And there are times, when even a 8 foot ladder will not suffice. Especially if you are a young man who is pearanoid (misspelling intended :P) about reaching every last possible pear on the tree. If you can see in the above photo, the ladder is at the bottom, and Josiah... well he climbed. A backpack worn in front allowed for two free hands - one to hold on and one to pick.
Once the pears are all safely home, the work had just begun. There were pears to can - plain, cinnamon, and a new one - with raspberries (excellent by the way).
We made pear crisp, pear clafouti (or patouti as it is affectionately known here) and pear cake. Of course plenty of them were eaten just the way God made them.
Then there was our newest find. Pear mince! Sweet luscious chunky pears with plump raisins, heavenly spices, and zesty lemon. Oh the combination! It is wonderful to eat on its own, or you could put it in a pie, and I think it would be an excellent sauce with meat.
We have since left Pearadise, but it was a lovely visit, and we have some wonderful jars of proof in our cellar.