I don't think I told you about the "extra" pear tree.
Heck, I didn't even know there was a "main" pear tree when I decided to move to this house and rip up the backyard for a vegetable garden.
How was I to know that Bartlett pear harvest time coincided exactly with my summer plans?
"Coincided." Heh. That's just a polite way of saying the pear tree tyrannized me, demanding daily attention purely on account of its heavy windfall. And when you pick up that many pears every day, you'd better think of something to do with them.
Dammit. I wanted to luxuriate in my tomatoes and cucumbers. But, no. Big crybaby pears were throwing a fit over there, and I had to cope.
I made gobs of pear butter. My ad-hoc recipe improved with each batch.
I made pear chutney; ditto.
I made pear nectar. Swoon! It takes a LOT of filtering to get most of the grit and sediment out, but... swoon!
And I'm currently attempting to make pear vinegar. (We had to throw a lot of spoiled pears into the Green Can, and as the days wore on, the can developed an irresistible vinegary smell. Inspiration from garbage.)
I finally demanded that a group of friends come over and help me harvest. Yeah. Tom Sawyer-style. We turned it into a groovy patio party, and everyone was required to take home a sack of pears.
Freedom, at last.
The "spare" pear tree. Actually, it looks like two saplings, intertwined. They almost certainly sprouted from the seeds of fallen pears from the main tree. Still young, it's already bearing fruit. But it had the good manners to wait a couple of weeks, so we've only just now had to pick the tree clean.
The pears are different, somehow. Squatter. Paler. More buttery!
I'd been plotting to give the spare tree away to anyone foolish enough to dig it up, but you know what? Even after having my entire August monopolized by the big tree... I've fallen in love with the little one.
Tonight: pear tart.
UPDATE: After some discussion in the comments, I've come to believe this spare tree may be a different variety of pear, possibly Comice. Which completely baffles me, because the tree is jammed most inconveniently up against a fence, and in the shade of the main tree. Who would plant there? And why? Ah, mysteries of the over-fruited garden.