A couple weeks ago I opened my first can of pear sauce I'd made over the summer. This was a monumental event. After all, how many hours had I spent washing pears, slicing pears, boiling pears, sterilizing jars, wiping my brow, warning the kids to stay away from the hot canner, and finally to listening to the lids seal in satisfaction of time well spent? Right now, I really don't want to think about it.
Don't get me wrong; the pear sauce was technically fine and void of the nasty white stuff I'd decided to study for my fourth grade science experiment. Yes, in desperation for a topic, I did a science project on mold by placing slices of bread in various containers under diverse temperatures. Looking back, I recoil in disgust and wonder why I didn't just build a volcano like every other kid. Not sure what I was thinking.
But back to the pear sauce: bottom line, it just didn't taste very good. Not even Charlie liked it, and he's not exactly parsimonious in his food choices.
The fresh pears were great, and we bought very little fruit all summer. And cooked and fresh pears have been stellar in desserts and breakfast breads. Even the pear butter and pear jelly turned out well. But what to do with my (I don't even want to think about how many) jars and jars of pear sauce and sliced pears, all of which I'd expected to be our fruit through the winter? I've come up with three options.
Option A: I've thought about doctoring up the sauce, but to tell you the truth, adding a bunch of sugar to something that is supposed to be healthy makes no sense. The kids might love it, but what's the point? I might as well feed them cookies for snacks instead.
Option B: Another, more viable option is to use it in breakfast bread. I have a fool-proof recipe I'll have to post, and have been successful using pear sauce, applesauce, and mashed bananas as the fruit. Only problem is we're going to be sick of it in a couple months.
Option C is to use it in desserts. However, I don't have the time nor the inclination to make dessert every. single. day. Not having been born with the speedy metabolism my husband and daughter have, I've always struggled with my weight. I have to exercise, especially after having kids. And (okay, I'm about to expose some of my vanity here) I've only recently come to terms with the fact that my body will never, ever be the same and I will never, ever be one of those people who can walk into a clothing store and look great in anything. Which is probably why I wear the same clothes year after year! And again, there's that sugar thing.
So the pears I was so excited about have disappointed, hands down, and today I coughed up money for another bushel of apples that I hope will last us a couple months. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll have to do this next year and probably the year after. But come what may, I am planting apple trees this spring: granny smith (early season) for eating and cooking, honeycrisp (mid-season) for sauce and eating, and pink lady (late season) for absolutely everything.
And the pears? I'll know better next year, and will be more conservative with how many I preserve. Some things you just have to learn the hard way.