Califonia Bountiful

Pear-adise in Kelseyville

July/Aug. 2009 California Country magazine

Sweet, juicy pears are a California tradition—and so is the Kelseyville Pear Festival. Make plans now to celebrate the peak of the pear season in Lake County at the Sept. 26, 2009 event. Attractions include a parade, quilt show, arts and crafts booths, antique tractor exhibit, music and, of course, food.

To get us all in the mood for the taste of fresh California pears, festival chairman Marilyn Holdenried shares one of her favorite pear recipes. It—and more than 200 other recipes—are featured in "The Pear Cookbook." Copies are sold at the festival and on the festival’s Web site:

Marilyn’s pear chutney
3 lb. fresh Bartlett pears (about 7 cups, diced)
1 lb. brown sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup diced preserved ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne or red pepper
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. mustard seed

Core and dice unpeeled pears. Combine brown sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add pears and remaining ingredients. Cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until mixture is thick, for about 1 hour. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Or keep in the refrigerator up to 3 to 4 weeks. Makes approximately 5 (1/2-pint) jars.

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