I had discovered in my reading that pear trees sometimes take a year off.
That the little tree in the backyard that gave us a thousand pounds of pears last summer might take it easy.
I kind of hoped it would.
But, no. It's covered in white blossoms. Impossibly thick blossoms, sometimes twenty of them clustered at the tip of one tiny twig.
So there will be pears again this year.
I have to assume some self-pruning will occur. The tree cannot sustain that much fertility, that much weight on its slender branches. Perhaps I will have to do the thinning myself.
But I'm no longer afraid of the pear tree.
At the peak of its fruitfulness last August, we were collecting baskets and baskets of pears, every day. I gave away bags and bags and bags of them. Of course, we ate many of them raw, embellished with other foods, added to salads, or just plain. And I pressed many more of them into juice, roasted them into pear butter, and stewed them into chutney.
For a few months there, it was total pear frenzy.
But it was nice to have preserved pears to last through the winter.
I still have a large tub of pear chutney in the refrigerator. I'm not sure we'll be able to eat it all up in the next four months, when the next harvest will begin.
But it's tasty, and it's nice to try.
This is a lamb sandwich.