I did not grow up eating fresh picked fruit. However, I did grow up eating "store bought" fresh fruit. I was a suburb girl eating fruit harvested from the shelves of our local grocery store, mainly bananas, grapes, the occasional strawberries that were suppose to be made into pie, and on the rare but lucky occasions, some beautiful cherries.
Most of our fruit however, were in cans. Fruit cocktail, remember that??? That was a staple in our house. And ready for this...in HEAVY syrup!😳 Yea, I know, start planning the funeral now! How I'm still alive is beyond me. I was thinking about it the other day and to be frank, I don't even remember a fruit/vegetable section in our grocery store growing up. I mean, I really do have a good memory. I remember the enormous cages that held all the glass bottles to be recycled we would bring in.. (and get $.10 for each one!!) I remember the little books you filled with grocery stamps; I remember when two-liters first came out, and I even remember my brother and I daring each other to "squeeze the Charmin" when in the toilet paper aisle. But, I don't remember a fresh fruit and vegetable section in the store.
There obviously was one because how was I able to try and not like pears? My brother would sit there with a steak knife (and below the age of 10 at that!) and thinly slice his pear while watching cartoons. I was amazed that he liked this soft fruit. I really should have been amazed how good he was using that knife! I just wasn't a fan of pears.
Fast forward oh lets say 20 years, Bill and I just built our first house here in Kentucky and we're doing our landscaping. While shopping for trees and shrubs, Bill saw a dwarf Bartlett pear and wanted it. Now, I've been to a few orchards in my life and always found them wonderful, all manicured and full of fruit, but it never dawned on me that we could have one tree. Remember, I was a suburb girl...the only thing that grew in our neighborhood were tomatoes the little old lady next door grew. Evidently he was a suburb boy and they had fruit trees in his neighborhood...la..di..dah 😂
So, Bill bought his tree and planted it in the front yard and what seemed like overnight that little pear tree popped out the biggest pears and year after year it continued to give him wonderful big Bartlett pears! To say he was overjoyed was putting it lightly. He loved that pear tree! Me, not so much...still not a fan of pears. Oh, and while driving by that house a few years ago, we noticed they cut down that wonderful pear tree...it was everything Bill had to keep from banging on their door and cussing them out! I'm just hoping they cut it down because it was dying or was diseased or something.
About 6 years ago or so, I tried a juicy pear at a bed and breakfast we stayed in while visiting Amish land. The host actually poached it and added some wonderful spices then served it with a small dollop of sour cream. Not to be rude, with tongue in cheek, I tried a bite and all but shoved the next few bites in my mouth! I kept eyeing Bill's because he hates sour cream and I was secretly hoping he'd hand his pear off to me, but my daughter who was with us, was also eyeing it! 😂 It was amazing, delicious, and to die for.
At this point in life we were living in the house we are in now and had planted a "dwarf" pear tree (again Bill had to have one because he missed his other one!) which as you may have read in my previous post How The Herbs Saved A Tree, we weren't getting ANY pears, but the darn thing was reaching our two story roof in height! (The tag lied! It wasn't a dwarf at all!) I so desperately wanted pears just to try and replicate this recipe!
Since that major turn of event, I have found I really like pears. They have to be juicy and medium soft. I've tried several and enjoy their different flavors, but Bosc seem to be my favorite. This year, after the threat of life my husband made on the tree a few years ago, we had the biggest abundance of bartlett pears we have ever had. Again, not being farmers or orchard people, we had no idea if the pears were ready to be harvested. 🤷🏻♀️ Rule of thumb...watch the wildlife, they always tell you what's ready! 🤦🏻♀️
Yes, the wildlife were back taking full advantage of the sweet although small juicy fruit. We've had raccoons and opossum visit nightly and during the day, one of the momma deer would come up and reach for the branch, standing only on her hind legs, and pull off the pears. (there's a video on my Instagram I took!) One day I noticed her baby wasn't "allowed" to come up to the tree, probably because our dogs were going absolutely nuts on the deck, so I pulled off a couple pears the birds had gotten to and threw them to it. She scooped them right up, so I felt better that nothing was wasted...even though I know I just invited them over for dinner same time next year!
Bill and I decided Labor Day weekend that it was time to pick the pears. They weren't very big, but OH MY GOSH they literally were the best pears ever. I don't know if it's because they were small, or they were just perfectly ripened, or they were simply just fresh, but they were out of this world. Of course my monkey husband was climbing a ladder, the deck railing, the arbor, etc. just to make sure we got every pear possible. I ended up giving one of our baskets of pears to my dad and stepmom because I just didn't want them to go bad!
He's the cutest monkey husband ever, though!😍 We probably would have had 2 more baskets if the wildlife hadn't attacked the tree, but at least this year we were able to enjoy three baskets!
They're all gone now, but not without thanking the tall pear tree for some amazing little pears. The temps today are in the 90s and next week it looks to be in the 80s so I'm hoping that we'll be seeing some cooler temps soon so I can get out there and enjoy a visit to an orchard or maybe just one to the farmer's market. In the mean time, I'm going to be hitting up Pinterest to see if I can find that recipe for those poached pears!😋 It's getting to be that time to makes some homemade goodies anyway!!