The back yard pear tree has surpassed all expectations this year. But poor old tree, he's about 40 years old and he's hollow right up the middle. He was so loaded with pears that three large branches have broken off and come crashing down, scattering pears everywhere.
The squirrels have been having a field day, and last week the tree was invaded by a huge flock of quarrelling starlings looking for dinner.
We picked two big buckets full of pears from the lower branches, but there's loads of fruit higher up. The fruit was peeled, cut, cooked, layered overnight with sugar, cooked again in the syrup (with a little bit of ginger to add that spicy tang), then sealed in jars.
Twelve pounds of pears made eight jars.