Sweet glorious pears

*****DISCLAIMER, In exchange for a discount registration for the International Food Bloggers Conference I agreed to write three posts. This is my second post.*****

Pears just hanging off the tree. (Used a watercolor app)

I had never really thought much about where my food came from until I had the opportunity to ride through the Sacramento farming delta. I really had no idea that the farms in this delta are surrounded by the Sacramento and San Jouquin Rivers and that the Sacramento River is responsible for most of California’s water.
Winding down the highway along the river banks we were on our way to one of only four remaining pear orchards in Sacramento. The scenery was stunning and the local history lessons, fascinating. The fact the climate in California is perfect to grow any kind of crop you can thing of.

When we finally arrived at the Elliot’s family orchard, Stillwater, it was harvest time for the Bosc pear.  Food bloggers waking along side of the trees, taking pictures of the ripe fruit hanging off the branches. Rows upon rows of  pears being harvested by the workers swinging the ladders and climbing in the trees in silence.

Bosc pears waiting to be picked

Did you know it takes about 10 years for a pear tree to start bearing fruit? That’s quite a long time to wait for the sweet juicy fruit, But the multigenerational farm families do. The Elliotts grow more than one  variety of pear.

Freshly picked Bosc pears
Refreshing pear cider on a hot day from Hemly Cider 

Busy picking the fruit

After the orchard tour we were treated to lunch under a Sycamore tree that we were told was 150 years old. It provided much needed shade, it just so happened the temperatures that weekend were around 100.

Our lunch spot. A magnificent 150 year old Sycamore tree  

Pear crisp

Not a bad way to spend your lunch. Grilled endive salad, pork tenderloin sandwiches, pear and endive salad, and the featured fruit ended up as a pear crisp for dessert. We sampled pear cider, so it’s  not just for apples anymore.
On the way back to the bus we were each given a bad of Bartlett pears to take home. I was happy that my  pears made the cross country journey safely. But what to make with them? I could try to recreate the pear crisp. Maybe my pear upside down gingerbread cake? No, too warm for that.  I scoured the internet for a pear cake recipe and came across this Pear Cake recipe from Allrecipes.com. So of course, that’s what I should make.

The bag of pears we received as we left the orchard 

Pear cake, one for me and the other for our new neighbors  

Thanks to Elliot’s and California Pears I made two so I keep one and then I could share the other with our new neighbors. What at a sweet way to introduce your self.

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