Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canning Pears and New Dehydrator Tool

The last few posts I shared pictures of the feral pears, my brother Eric and I harvested.  They finally reached a good stage of ripening,  so he and I got busy peeling, and quartering them for canning. These pears were not as symmetrically and smoothly formed as ones from the store. Nor were they perfect, as they come from a tree which was either left over from an old homestead or were truly wild, planted by a bird or critter. It took a bit more time to get them peeled and cut up and no way are they actually quarters! LOL Some might be, but the majority are just whatever shape they ended up;-o I weighed them when we were done, and we have 7 pounds in these two bowls

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We had a pot on the stove with 6 cups of water, 2 cups of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda , in it.

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Heated the liquid up a bit and added the pears to simmer in the syrup for about 5 minutes

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Assembled my jars and tools while the pears cooked and got the water to a full boil in the canner.

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See that tool with the red handles, balanced on the edge of the bowl? Invaluable tool I pilfered from my husband’s tool shed. It has a magnet on one end. That is soooo handy when fishing hot flats and rings out of that bowl of boiling water! Mechanics use it to fish out fallen bits during vehicle repairs.

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Filled the jars up for water bathing in the canner. Half plain and half spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

End results… 11 pints:)

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Canned Pears

7 pounds of peeled and quartered pears

9 cups water

3 cups honey or sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda for every 1 cup of honey

Start a big pot simmering with the water, honey and baking soda. Add the prepared pears and cook them for 5 minutes.

Ladle the pear and syrup into your clean canning jars. I ended up using 11.

Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.

Can be spiced with your choice of spices:) I used allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg in mine. I just put a pinch of each on the top of some of them. Gave them a good stir through with the handle end of  my wooden spoon before sealing and processing in the canner

You will notice in my post I said I used 6 cups of water and 2 of honey for my syrup. Which deviates from the recipe. I wrote the recipe the way I will do it next time. I was shy a bit of syrup when filling the jars, and improvised by filling the rest of the way with apple juice. So, I decide to increase the proportions in the recipe, thinking I would rather have too much syrup than not enough. If I end up with a small glass extra, cool! Sounds like a tasty drink:)

We found our pear tree, at the edge of the woods. I like to imagine some other woman, in the past, planting and harvesting from this same tree. Many times you can find fruit trees and other edible stands of plants, near spots which were old homesteads.

I started destemming more elderberries while the canner was going. I ended up spending 4 hours total destemming last nite. I plunked on the couch with  bowls around me and watched 2 silly movies when I did it;-) I decide to dry some of them in my dehydrator. I had found the nicest tool to use with berries, herbs or other small things. It is a Clean-A-Screen by American Harvest company. It has little finger places along its side so that when you are through drying your harvest, you can lift the screen out and flex it, thus loosening the berries or whatever else you might have dried that is sticky. I am certain many of you already use this, but it was new for me!

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Today I have been invited to a friends apple orchard to watch and learn about making apple cider! Have a beautiful day, wherever you are. Honey and herbal hugs to you from Comfrey Cottages

 

 

11 comments:

Rita M said...

11 jars canned pears - that are a lot of jars Leslie. Which will be good in winter - and tasty.I love to eat them with cranberries, at Christmas.You had a lot of work with the elderberries.
I had never seen a dehydrator.Have fun with harvesting and canning Leslie.
Have a nice Sunday evening my friend!
Rita :o)

Anke said...

Your pear recipe sounds really good! Last week I saw a sign on a road close to our house saying "free pears, you pick them". I didn't have time that day and went back a few days later - sadly the sign was gone. :-( Guess I'll have to check our farmers markets and see if I can get some there.

*Ulrike* said...

Congrats on the pears, and what a nifty idea with the magnet! I could have used that when I was doing the apples!!!
We use to have a dehydrator, not a very good one, but if I can get busy with things again I may need to buy another one!
Take Care!
Ulrike

comfrey cottages said...

Yum to pears and cranberries Rita! I will have to try that as I love them both! Dehydrators are useful for many things:) Have a beautiful week honey.xxxx

Anke, I understand about not having time and missing out! I miss so many wild harvest things while watching little Dylan. At least there is always next year:) I hope you find some at the farmer's market!! xxxx

Ulrike, you would love that magnet gadget! My dehydrator is a Snackmaster and it is a good size. xxx

lemonverbenalady said...

It is so rewarding to have that done! I love when I get a batch or two of jelly done! Exhausting but joyous as well!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I'll keep track of you. Don't you feel rich with 11 jars!

Great work.

Have a joyous weekend,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

comfrey cottages said...

I do feel rich Sharon! I will feel so blessed in the deep of winter, to open a jar up:) Keep track of me!? Good luck with that one! lol big hugs to you dear

ErikTyler said...

LOTS of time involved in peeling and chopping the tiny pears. But, well worth the effort once cold dark Winter hits us and we open the first jar! I have to admit, I bailed on my sister after we cpeeled and chopped the pears and went to the lake with my neice and friends for beer and firepit! LOL
... The trip to our beekeeper friends Apple Orchard was great and interesting. ~ Eric

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Leslie ~ The pears look delicious ! My uncle brought me some pears , think I'll try your honey syrup. Why do you add baking soda ?

I've got a plant over at my herb blog I'm trying to i.d. , could you take a peek at it and see if you know what it is ?

http://herbalspirits.blogspot.com

~ Many Blessings ~

Pogostemon said...

All I can say is Yum! The pears look and sound delicious and I feel like I can almost smell the spices too! I'd also like to ask why the baking soda? I'm also really happy to be able to comment on your blog once more. It's taken an age to fix my account but thankfully I'm up & running once more :-)

Jennifer said...

The pears look really good! Now I want to plant a pear tree.