Welcome to Life at the Holman's.

Within this blog, you will find everything from recipes to school ideas to everyday fun stuff and things we have learned along the way. From time to time you will find just a tidbit of our journey here in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pears, Pears, Yummy Pears!

Fall brings the cooler weather, the falling leaves, and the ripening pears.  On the back edge of the field connected to the east of our property, there is a field that has a couple of pear trees.  Three years ago when the ranch foreman first told us about the pears, we were able to stock up on loads of pears.  The tree was literally sagging with sweet, juicy pears.  We cut and froze pears, baked pear pies and pear crisp, and ate all the fresh pears that we could ever want.

The following year, we went back hoping to have the pears again.  There wasn't a single pear on the tree!
A couple of weeks ago, we knew that it was pear time again.  We did not have much hopes of having any good pears to eat, but we decided to make the mile trek through the fields to find out.  We started down the winding path of tall grass and weeds.  There were definitely pears this year, but they were still a little bitter and not quite ripe.  We waited a couple of weeks more and our efforts were rewarded.  Jason took our weed trimmer out and semi-cleared us a path so we at least did not have to walk through waist high grass. I also have to add that the mile sees to be much when you start back with a backpack full of pears!

The pears are still not quite as sweet or abundant as they were the first year, but they are pretty good.  So far, we have made some dried pears, pear crisp, poached pears (we did not care for poached pears much!), and cut up fresh pear snacks.  We have also put up about 7-8 quart bags of bears that we will later use for cooked pears over biscuits or pancakes.  I can also use the frozen pears in pear pie.
Dried Pears
We are headed back to the pears today with our truck.  Jason went out today to cut out some of the branches to make the path for the truck a little less "scratchier."  Hopefully, the pears will be fully ready to be picked and preserved!

Dried Pears
Thinly Slice pears and dip them in lemon juice.  Use a dehydrator according to manufacture directions.  It took our dehydrator about 4-5 hours to make the dried (almost crispy) pears.  You can use the pears for a snack or you can store them an rehydrate them for use later in a cake, pie, etc.  I have to say that I have never rehydrated the pears so I can not offer any personal experience/suggestions for that.  We always just eat ours for a snack...they would never last long enough at our house to use at a later date!

Pear Crisp
4-5 ripe Pears
1/4 cup quick cook oats
1/8 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 cup butter (the more the better, right!)
Dash of nutmeg (optional)

Slice the pears (about 1/4 inch thick) and place them in a 9 inch baking dish.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Cut the stick of butter into pieces and use a pastry blender, fork, or 2 knives to cut the butter into the dry mixture.  Pour the mixture evenly over the pears.  Bake at 350 degrees until browned.  Serve hot with vanilla ice cream!