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I have "some" arthritis in my hands, but I can still peel potatoes and such in limited quantities without too much pain/stiffness...peel/cut up about 8 - 10lbs, rest my hands, and go at it again until I'm finished.

So what did I do, you ask???

A neighbor (bless her heart) told me and my Mom we could get alllllllllllll the Bartlett pears we wanted, so with visions of pints and pints of luscious pear preserves and sauce dancing wildly through my mind, we started picking...

I don't know WHY I took my mother at her word when she said SHE wanted to "put up some pears"...I knew better...

So, I have about 100lbs of HUGE, hard, thick-skinned Bartletts sitting on my kitchen work table. I've been walking by them daily since Friday, picking up one here and there, HOPING they'd soften up somewhat, but it's time to battle the beast.

I'll post pics when I'm done...if my hands are still functioning. :)
 

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I have RA, and several of my finger joints are becoming affected.
What I do when I have that much to deal with, is take it in small bites. I'll peel, and core, then freeze. As soon as I finish the last batch, I get everything out of the freezer and start processing.
It may take me a few days to get it all done, but it sure is a lot easier than trying to tackle it all at once.
 

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You probably already know this, but I found out not too long ago that the best way to tell when a pear is ripe is to look for softness right at the stem. Pears ripen from the core to the outside, so when they are soft at the stem it is time to can them.
 
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I feel your pain, literally... I got very ambitious and picked a 5-gallon bucket of prickly pears a couple days ago. Oh. My. Gawsh. My hands were on fire - and it took me all day to simply JUICE half of the bucket.

Four more days of battle to go! :eek:
 

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I have RA, and several of my finger joints are becoming affected.
What I do when I have that much to deal with, is take it in small bites. I'll peel, and core, then freeze. As soon as I finish the last batch, I get everything out of the freezer and start processing.
It may take me a few days to get it all done, but it sure is a lot easier than trying to tackle it all at once.
I was about to ask if anyone did their pears this way...peel/core/freeze/thaw/process...

While I'm sure it would work well for sauce, how does freezing effect the texture with regards to preserves (will the pieces/slices hold their shape or will they turn to mush as preserves?).
 

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Wrap pear separately in news paper and do not pack tightly in a box, store boxes in a cool dark place. Now keep one empty box ....and by box a breathable not plastic deal.

Check one them every few weeks...that is why you have a spare empty box.

Now, when you want a fresh pear go bring up them up and put the in a fruit ripping bowl with and Apple or banana.

A ripening bowl is a clear glass that has a sealable top...think like a cake dish with lid.

I grew up with a mom who lived thru the depression and we had 19 pear trees. Punishment for us as kids was....checking on the hard pears and green tomatoes. I was a good kid as there were snakes in the basement.
 

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I was about to ask if anyone did their pears this way...peel/core/freeze/thaw/process...

While I'm sure it would work well for sauce, how does freezing effect the texture with regards to preserves (will the pieces/slices hold their shape or will they turn to mush as preserves?).
You need to catch them while they are still firm, otherwise they do tend to get a bit softer than normal.
 
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