My dear, sweet mother-in-law called me last week. She wanted to know if I would like some pears. Of course, we would like pears. The kids (especially Cole) just LOVE pears. She asked how many I would want, because they already had a bushel picked, and if I wanted that one, they would bring it to me (can you believe this? Free fruit, and it’s delivered?!) She told me that Ryan’s sister was planning on bottling hers, and she was taking about a bushel and a half. Me, being not so smart in the ways of canning and all those fancy terms asked how big a bushel was. She told me that a bushel was enough to do so many dozen quart jars. Silly me, now I can’t even remember what it was she told me. Feeling ambitious, I told her that I would LOVE some pears.
She then proceeded to tell me how they go about canning the pears, how they boil them, (I guess the proper term is “blanch”) then take the skins off, cut the middle out, put them in a vinegar bath, etc, etc, etc. I listened carefully thinking, “I could do that, couldn’t I?”
When they brought me the lovely box of pears, my kids were excited and immediately started eating them. Good. Less work for me. I think Cole may have eaten 3 or 4 that first day himself. Saturday would have been the ideal day for putting up those pretty little beauties. Ryan would be there to help me, and the kids could play outside. Except that we had a garage sale already scheduled for Saturday, and add to that the overall crappy feeling I was experiencing due to this stupid cold (that I’ve had for 6 days now, even though I’ve taken the cold-ease, I really have!), and there was not going to be ANY canning going on on Saturday. So, we kept eating a few a day, and we gave some away to our friends at our garage sale, while I daydreamed out how pretty those pears would all look bottled and how MONDAY was surely the day I was going to haul myself up by my bootstraps, tap in to my pioneer ancestry, and bottle those pears!
Today dawned bright and beautiful, and my daughter told me that she had thrown up in the night. All bets are off. All plans of productivity are canceled. Besides that, it’s EARLY day, which means that once John gets on the bus at 8:56, I only have until 11:50 or so to myself, and then kids start the return process. (speaking of schedules, have I mentioned our crazy morning schedule yet? Cole leaves for early morning seminary at about 6:27, and thank goodness he has a friend in the neighborhood who drives who is taking him, then Jenna and Natalie’s bus comes at about 7:35, Megan’s carpool, which I drive on Wednesdays, leaves for the junior high at 7:45, and then John has to wait until 8:45 to leave.)
I realized that my dream of beautifully bottled peaches was just a dream, and not one I was going to see fulfilled this year. So as not to waste the precious fruit, I put 12-15 pears in 5 different bags, and we are delivering them to the neighbors. I think this is what I did last year when they gave me pears, too. I do, at least, share.
So, here I am, with no beautiful pears in jars, only nice ripe pears in my fridge. And I refuse to feel guilty for my lack of canning ability. Maybe I’ll do better with the peaches.