|Ruth Kerr, President, photo circa 1948|
Armed with the Words of Wisdom from Mrs. Alexander H. Kerr, I just peeled and cored and simmered and packed and canned my way through a five gallon bucket of pears. Days before I had admonished my well-meaning neighbor for "bringing me work," but now after the fact, those little jewels sitting on the counter make me proud.
Seven pints of pears packed in pineapple juice.
Boil 6 cups of pineapple juice and 1 cup of sugar until dissolved. Peel, core and pack jars with pear slices. Fill with syrup leaving one inch of headspace. Seal and process in water bath for 20 minutes.
Seven pints of pears packed in mint syrup.
Boil 6 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar until dissolved. Add mint extract and green food coloring for desired taste and color. Peel, core and pack jars with pear slices. Fill with syrup leaving one inch of headspace. Seal and process in water bath for 20 minutes.
|click to read the fine print|
Honestly, I cannot vouche for the quality of these mint pears. I've never tried them before, but they sounded like a nice side dish for leg of lamb. When making the syrup, it smelled like I had dowsed my kitchen in Dr. McGillicuddy's. In actuality I used essence of peppermint, a small bottle that I recently received from my mother. She claims it was already in the cupboard when she married my father in 1965. Two thoughts immediately come to mind: why did she hang onto it all these years; and is 82% alcohol a bad thing? With my typical devil-may-care attitude, I poured the entire contents of the bottle into the syrup (3 teaspoons in all). It took my breath away when I sniffed the steaming kettle.
So here's to all of you Homemakers out there in Canning Land who "hold in your hands the power of preserving ALL the natural goodness of God's creation for your loved ones" (eloquently stated by Ruth Kerr, who incidentally has proven by laboratory tests that Kerr lids give 22% greater sealing surface). Keep your chins up and your jar lifters poised while bushel after bushel of strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and pears cross your countertop! Your reward is waiting for you...in approximately 2-3 months when you finally decide to start cracking those seals.