The main things that I've done with them are: cook in simple syrup with ginger, make pear butter, make little free-form tarts (a pie crust, lay them on with sugar over, spice if you want, etc. Fold the edges over them, leaving some fruit showing in the center, bake.), cobbler, and....hmmm, can't think of anything else. Mostly, we eat them fresh, sometimes with cheese alongside. Heck, add good bread, and wine since I know that you've got some, and there's a nice meal!
Having farm fresh produce, from a roadside farm stand...fruit, ripe tomatoes, etc. with fresh, good bread...ie: sourdough from 'Frisco, and a favorite cheese, has always been a favorite meal for me. :-)
I've seen them poached in wine quite a bit. Maybe that would be something for Thanksgiving?
I think of them like apples. Nearly everything that an apple can do, so can most pears, depending of type and texture.
I used to eat canned pears, also! My kids weren't too much into canned fruit in general. Probably because there was so much fresh fruit around. We had apple trees when they were growing up, plus a lot of pear trees around, persimmons, as well as walnuts. Then, of course, non-tree fruit such as melons, and anything from the store. Even today, Ds 'borrows' an apple before he leaves for work, when he has to pick up equipment. :-)
Anyway, I will be interested in what you come up with!
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