Last week I was seeing red, but this week it's all greeeeeen.
|Our dwarf Bartlett Pear tree is fully grown at about 9 feet tall.|
We picked about half our Bartlett pears last week, about 3 dozen. They are ready to pick when they are still hard, but come off the tree easily. Pears do not ripen on the tree! After chilling them overnight in the refrigerator, we put them in a paper bag with a ripe banana and let them alone for about 4 days on the counter where they ripened beautifully. I love this article about how to pick pears and how to ripen them. It's full of great pear info whether you either grow them or buy them. At the end the author got quite serious, and I quote, "After years of study, scientists have found that a really juicy pear is best eaten while naked, in the bathtub, so that you needn't be concerned about the abundant juice streaming down your chin." True. After these 4-5 days of pear prep, ours were perfectly ripened, sweet and juicy. We saved the best for eating fresh and sharing and then wanted to preserve the rest. My husband wanted canned sliced pears but I didn't want to pull out the canner and instead looked online for the best way to freeze slices.
Here's what we ended up doing, a combination of several ways.
1. Wash ripe pears. Peel, core and slice into wedges.
2. Pears turn brown quickly, so as soon as you peel and slice them, throw them into a pot of acidic water to keep them white: To each quart of cold water add three 100% ascorbic acid vitamin C tablets crushed into a small amount of hot water. Stir until dissolved. For 2 dozen pears we used 6 quarts of water.
3. Meantime, set water to boil to make a light sugar syrup: To each quart of boiling water add 1 or 2 cups sugar, we used one cup sugar per quart. Add three crushed vitamin C tablets, stir until sugar and vitamin is dissolved. Continue to boil liquid. Remove pears from acidic water in batches with a slotted spoon, and plunge in boiling syrup for one minute only. Remove with slotted spoon and put in freezer container. We used large 1 quart recycled yogurt containers. When finished with all your pears, pour hot syrup over to cover, place lid, label and freeze. Our 2 dozen pears made 4 quarts snowy white slightly sweetened sliced pears for the freezer.
As for the green beans, these weeks I seem to be picking a sink full every few days. This blogger saved me from hating my abundant green bean harvest. To preserve, just pick, trim and freeze, no more blanching in boiling water. She swears by it and I jumped at the chance to trust her.
|A sink full of green beans was in the freezer in no time as soon as I learned I didn't have to blanch them!|
|And since it's August, it's still big tomato time in my garden.|
|The bright yellow comes in at just under 1 1/2 lbs. and is called Persimmon.|
Our beautiful veggie garden below.
Super easy way to freeze green beans.
We've always called a bean slicer, a bean frencher, but either name, it makes work easy!
Kids will soon go back to school, but summer's not over by a long shot!
Hope you are enjoying some lazy hot days of gardening, cooking and knitting.