Cutting One’s Losses

A week or so ago it was peach heaven.


When the wind blew, the laden branches knocked against the windows of the office and we would be reminded to go outside to get a few to eat.
Nary a peach got canned because between us, we just ate them all. Quite happily actually.

Then suddenly the pears were upon us.

In the heat of some very hot days last week the pears went from very green on the trees to too yellow Pears get a sort of gritty texture when left to ripen on the trees. There were suddenly a lot that were too yellow and too ripe. We picked the still green pears and shared them around the neighborhood. Then Will and I decided the thing to do with the too ripe pears was to make some pear cider.

On Friday afternoon, I made a test run batch and got a gallon and a half of pear cider. Things went fairly smoothly. William and I were set to take on the bulk of the overripe pears on Saturday morning.

However the pears got just that more mushy overnight. As we went to press the ground up pears through the press the pears mushed and squirted out all over the place. I needed but did not have some sort of muslin bag inside the press to keep the pear mush in. Apples are drier and have more body, even when ground up. This serious mush problem had never developed for us during apple cider making. Meanwhile we had a zillion ripe pears, a press that was goobing out the sides with volumes of pear mush and a zillion yellow jackets swarming the operation.


Here’s an action shot of the pear mush squirting up onto the top of the pressing board.

We had problems in River City. The stuff coming out wasn’t cider but glop and this glop wasn’t exactly going through our cheesecloth and strainer with ease. The tiny amount of liquid being produced was just enough to drown the hundreds of yellow jackets falling into it and not much more.

William had the best idea. He said, “Let’s do something else.” So we left the mush to the yellow jackets and took the dogs for a walk.

Sometimes it’s such a good thing to have someone around who knows the moment to cut one’s losses.

Had it been up to me, some warped notion of not wasting the pears might have kept me at the press all day, cranky and covered in pear stickiness. But Will knew just how to cut through the gordian knot of worry about making the most of the harvest.

He knew that rambling with the dogs on a lovely September day was a way better harvest to carry into a long New Hampshire winter than a pint of yellow jacket infused pear sludge.

Thanks God for William!

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