Pear-fectly Memorable

This week, I’m letting other pear fans do the talking. Read on for some of the ways that pear lovers enjoy our favorite fruit! Meghan from Spokane, WA shares this memory, “I love home-canned pears. We enjoy a family recipe that’s fairly straightforward, but contains more fruit juice than sugar. They are Bartlett pears canned after we pick them in season. There’s nothing I love more in the winter then enjoying something I made that’s SO good. As I eat them, I remember picking with all my cousins and family as a child, and sneaking away to eat one before I got caught. Grandmas always catch you!” Lori of Jacksonville, NC says, “Hmm…I honestly don’t remember exactly how my grandma poached her pears (probably halved in water or juice – she was a teetotaler, so no wine), but I do remember Continue reading

Love your lunch.

I’m quite proud of my capability to pack a lunch for work every day. Aside from a stint when I first moved back to Oregon and spent my time bouncing between Chipotle and Nordstrom Café for lunch, I make my best effort to brown-bag it to work. It’s cheaper. It’s healthier. It feels better! Needless to say, pears star regularly in my homemade lunches. Here are my top five ways to make your lunch better – with USA Pears: Pack ‘em up. When I have a ripe Anjou pear at home, I bring it to work in a pear packer (to protect it from bruises, of course). At lunch time, I slice it up and slather it liberally with almond butter. Yum. Perk up your tuna salad. One of my go-to lunch recipes is a fresh, homemade Tuna Waldorf Salad, Continue reading

You Can: Pear Chutney

To me, canning has always seemed like something better left to the professionals, or to Grandma, at least. I remember going to the extension office with my mom to have her pressure cooker tested. I mean, I’m all about following recipes, but if my kitchen equipment has to be tested by a third party, it’s probably best for me to stay away. That sounds…involved. But, I discovered, it doesn’t have to be! There’s an easier way – water bath canning. All you need are some jars, lids and fresh seals, your ingredients, and a large kettle or stock pot with a lid. I followed the instructions of the talented Brook at and successfully completed my first canning attempt last night: Spicy Pear Chutney. I had it over brined pork chops for dinner last night and lunch today – it Continue reading

Pear Drinking Vinegar: Part 2

I’ve been suspiciously quiet on my drinking vinegar experiment, but I have an excuse. I wrecked it. As in, burnt-sugar-on-the-pan, kitchen-smelled-for-hours wrecked it. But don’t worry! I just finished round two, and the results were wonderful. I tweaked the recipe a bit this time, following the advice of Brook over at Learn to Preserve. Instead of boiling the strained liquid for an hour, I just simmered it for five minutes. The boiling is where I went wrong last time – maybe my proportions were off, but I ended up reducing the liquid down to a gooey, stringy mess in one pan and a crusted, black, stinky mess in the other. This time, I strained my mixture into a saucepan, added ½ cup of honey, and stirred until the honey dissolved. I set the heat to medium-low and let it simmer Continue reading

Pear Drinking Vinegar: Part 1

Over the last year or so, I’ve grown to really enjoy a glass of cold sparkling water, especially when garnished with a few slices of lime or lemon. A local Portland restaurant is taking this drink to a new level by adding a delicious and unusual ingredient: drinking vinegars. Drinking vinegar has just a few ingredients: fruit, vinegar, and sugar. Luckily for me, I discovered they’re actually quite easy to make at home. Drinking vinegars, or shrubs, as they’re sometimes called, have roots both in the colonial South and in Southeast Asia. Chef Andy Ricker of the aforementioned restaurant, Pok Pok, has popularized the trend here in Portland, offering Pok Pok Som in flavors such as tamarind, honey, apple, and raspberry at his Thai street food restaurant. After purchasing a bottle of tamarind-flavored drinking vinegar and realizing just how tasty Continue reading

Grilled Pears

I love summer. Hot nights, bright skies, fresh fruit—it simply beckons me to bring my dinner plate outdoors. Last night, I grilled my entire meal: chicken skewers, asparagus, and Green Anjou pears. The pears were a delicious dessert—a little crisp (I only bought them one day prior), but sweet and slightly charred. I’m an impatient cook, as you can tell—I took a bite out of the pear below before it was finished cooking, but hey, how else was I to know when it was ready? My dining companion loved them drizzled with honey; I could have gone for a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side. Next time, I’ll try a fruity white wine (I used pear wine – complex, but a bit too strong for my taste) and plan ahead so my pears are ripe and ready. Continue reading

Get Crafty: Pear Tawashi

I like to say pears are an elegant fruit, but give them some googly eyes and a sweet smile, and they can also be adorable. Take this pear dish scrubber, for example. It’s functional, simple, and fun! Thanks to Salihan Crafts for the easy-to-follow tutorial and the sweet photos. Ready to tackle this at home? Share the results on our Facebook page! Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Six Ways to Slice A Pear

You know pears are versatile—you can eat them fresh, preserve them, and cook them in dishes both savory and sweet. But have you thought about the fun you can have with pear shapes? Whether you’re an adult who likes to play with your food, or a parent who needs help convincing your kids that healthy foods are fun, you’re sure to get some ideas from this blog post. I’ve rounded up six simple ways to slice a pear. This is just a starting point—from these designs, you can coax new recipe ideas, invent delicious desserts, and have fun with your food. Enjoy! Simple slices: Cut, remove the seeds, and eat! Dunk into yogurt or nut butters if desired. Lengthwise slices: This cut is great for sliding into quesadillas and sandwiches. Crosswise slices: The seeds make pretty stars with this cut. Continue reading