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Getcher Pears NOW!

A yellow pear is a pear that when you open it up…is going to be starting to turn brown at the center – it’s rotting from the inside out. Sorry to tell you that – I’m sure the American Pear Council (or whoever their promotional group is) will rise up and protest but it’s true.

Unlike their plant cousins, the apple, pears have a very very short window of wonderfulness. Which makes them actually very special but it also makes them darned hard to keep and is the reason why, if you look at the ingredients on ‘juice drinks’ and ‘cocktails’ on the shelf in your “groceria”, the first ingredient is going to be…pear juice.

If you’ve got a whole lotta pears that are going to get past their best before you can get them to the fresh eating market, you have to do something with them and turning them into juice is actually a terrific idea because when pears are at this point, they are SWEET and make a great juice base.

But I digress. Pears are coming into the markets right now. Do not pick on color. Pick up those babies and give them a big long ‘I’m drinking in all your phernomes right here’ sniff. If they smell like pears, even if they are still green, get them now. The flesh will be firm; they won’t be slimy, and you’ll be able to not only eat them out of hand but also do nifty stuff like bake with them. Our Elder Daughter bought a bushel of pears this week and brought us over half. The DH and I cut up a bunch and put them into the dehydrator, and another 1/3 went got sliced, put onto cookie sheets, into the freezer and then into plastic bags. The other 1/3 has been sitting in the fridge for people to eat, and I noticed this morning that..well, people were not eating them as quickly as they needed to be eaten. They were definitely starting to look like they were going to go into the ‘yellow’ stage over the weekend, when our son suggested “Pear Crisp”.

Pear Crisp? Well, anything you can make with apples, you can make with pears. And we’ve been known to throw the odd lonely pear into an apple crisp before. Even with this many pears, it would not fill out big baking pan (anything with ‘crisp’ at the end of it is fair game for breakfast in our house so making the BIG baking pan of it insures that everyone gets their fill of this.

So, here is our Crisp, With Pears:

Greased baking pan

Peel and chunk, slice, etc. pears (even if they are a little bit hard, this will work) into the pan

Dust with ½ tsp of powdered ginger

If the pan is not at least half full of fruit, peel and cut up whatever apples you have to fill it out. Good choices are Northern Spys, Empires, other firm, crunchy, cooking apples (Macs are not really good with this; they get mushy)

If you put apples in, sprinkle about 1 tsp of cinnamon on it. If the fruit is not particularly sweet (like if you use Spys), then add ¼ – 1/3 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet you like this sort of thing)

Set your oven to 375 degrees F

Crisp topping: Mix up in a separate bowl–
1 c. of flour (if you want to give it some oomph, add ¼ c. of wheat germ if you’ve got it)
1 c. of brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
Cut up one stick of butter or margarine and using a pastry blender, combine until you get small crumbs.
Add 1 C of oatmeal (we like thick cut, but whatever you’ve got)
Sprinkle over the fruit and shake the pan a little bit to settle
Bake for 45 min until bubbly.

If you want to add some protein to this (besides drinking a glass of milk with it), you can add to the topping when you mix it:
½ cup of dried milk
1/3 cup of hemp protein powder
¼ cup of soy flour

Enjoy.

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