Good morning all. I just wanted to check in to see how everyone’s Labor Day weekend is going. It has been such a busy week over at the Harley household. I started out the weekend by pondering what to do with the remaining pears. I tried to can all of the 1 bushel of pears on Tuesday (a work night mind you) and was up till 1:30am before I just had to give up. So, I picked out the ones that were the very least ripe, and saved them for another day. Well, all week I looked at those pears and tried to find something to do with them. I made jam which was very good, but I still needed something else to round out my canning collection. Well, I finally stumbled across pear sauce. It’s like applesauce, but much better and super easy ( I am an avid applesauce fan). I started by making pear jam with a recipe from one of my favorite canning bloggers Food in Jars. Then, I ran out of sugar. Crap. So, I lessened the sugar and stumbled on pear sauce and I am glad I did. I have been eating this stuff like crazy. Here you go:
Pear sauce: Adapted from Pear Jam
9 cups pears- skin and all
2 cups sugar
1-3 tablespoons vanilla (I go heavy on the vanilla, taper to your tastes)
1/4 cup lemon juice
Cut the core out of the pears, slice in 1 inch squares. Leave the skins on. Put in a deep saucepan (the wider the better to get lots of surface area for your pears).
Add sugar. Cook on medium heat until you can smoosh the pear easily with the back of your spoon.
Blend using your immersion blender until smooth (I leave little chunks to give it a little variety).
Add the vanilla according to your preference and the lemon juice.
cook 10 more minutes.
Place into steriled jars and water bath canner for 15 minutes. You can also add anise extract for a Christmas feel, but Nathan said he liked it just the way it was.
So, after I made the pear sauce I went out to see the garden. My garden has taken a huge hit this year. Now, let me preface this by saying how well my garden did LAST year. Last year I added organic manure and worked the soil like crazy. It was the first year for my garden so I really took the time it needed. This year, I moved the garden over about 10 feet and enlarged so that it was probably twice as big. I think my first mistake was that I did not add manure to it. I also used a different tiller. Apparently, that makes a difference. Who knew?! Add on the crazy drought conditions and the 100 degree days, and now the 90 degree days and 40 degree nights. Needless to say, my garden is struggling. So, I did what any self-respecting organic home gardener would do…I stopped watering and forgot about the whole mess until next year. (I know, that is probably not the BEST solution, but whatever. Desperate times).
So, I went out there to see the damage (and Nathan just had to have a tomato for lunch). My little garden is in sad shape. The weeds are about knee-high. My tomato plants are half dead, but still producing some fruit. They are fighters. So, Harley and I went and salvaged what tomatoes and peppers we could, and made salsa.
Now, I make the world’s best salsa. Trust me. SALSA IS WHERE IT IS AT! So, Harley and I spent the morning making salsa. Lots of salsa…Two and a half batches of salsa. (recipe to follow in the next post). I actually ran out of jars (and tomatoes)! I never thought that would happen. So, we headed over to the in-laws to see what they were doing. Of course we had to look at mom-in-law’s garden and what did I see but the mother-load of tomatoes. So, mom-in-law sent us home with a bushel of tomatoes. Guess what I am doing today?!
Hmmm. We will have to do something about this. Give it another 10 seconds, and this bowl will slowly start disappearing!
Does anyone else like canning as much as I do? What do you like to can?