Pears are in abundance locally. We've received boxes of them from our doctor and from friends. Then I am also able to buy fun varieties of local, organic pears from a local farm for 50 cents per pound.
We're eating gobs of the fresh pears, because this is the best time to eat them — during their season.
The rest, I am preserving. On Friday, I made 4 quarts of unsweetened pear sauce using Bartlett pears. I would have preferred to dehydrate the very ripe pears that made this sauce, but we were headed out of town and wouldn't be around to facilitate a 2-day dehydration.
Now that we are back home and more pears have ripened, I began dehydrating about 20 Bartlett pears. My dehydrator only has 3 trays, so I'm limited to that. I have a book — Dry It, You'll Like It! by Gen MacManiman (1974) — with plans for building one's own. That's a dream of mine, to have Jeff build a large dehydrator for our family.
I'm going to take advantage of the pear season this year by ordering more of them from that local, organic farm. I don't want to can many, as the nutrition is much less that way, but would like to dehydrate lots for snacking and rehydrating over the winter. I am dehydrating at 95 to 100 degrees, so as to protect the viability of the pears.
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