"Creating a Community Around Food"
Shiv rode the bus, his fingers
flicking over the little card.
Dr. Bloch had gotten it for him
just before Shiv left the prison,
and it was good for $25 a week
at most farmer's markets and
even some of the truck stands.
Shiv rode to the farmer's market that
took place in the Old Market downtown,
with its historic buildings and brick streets.
The autumn morning was bright and clear,
the sky still pale, with the shadows falling
westerly from the sun rising in the east,
long and black along the ground. It was
cool, but promised to warm up later, and
dew still dripped from the street trees.
Shiv stared at the booths overflowing
with colorful food of all kinds.
Dr. Bloch had taught him a little bit
about fresh fruits and vegetables, which
Shiv had rarely gotten a chance to try before,
and offered a few tips on shopping for them.
Shiv still felt totally freaking lost.
Dr. Bloch had also shown him some ways
of coping with too many choices, though,
so Shiv tried to focus on one thing at a time.
In front of him stood a booth full of swag for
the farmer's market. There were yellow t-shirts
that would go with his khakis, and blue ones that
would match the denim shorts he wore right now.
Maybe another day, he thought with a little regret,
moving on to pick out a reusable shopping bag
made of tough blue fabric. I can use this today.
He had to pay cash for that, but it only cost a buck.
Next he came to a jazz band playing on
a street corner, and it took a minute for
Shiv to recognize "The Garden Song."
He grinned, tapping his feet as he watched
the band and tried to figure out their schtick.
They had a guitarist, a bass player, a trumpeter,
and a guy who could apparently play every kind
of saxophone there was, judging from the spares
stacked alongside the drum kit behind the band.
People dropped money in the big bucket
that read Tips, and so Shiv stopped
to throw in a quarter of his own.
Then he found a baker selling pastries,
and the smell of food made his stomach growl.
There were bags of flatbread and even
some precooked pizza crusts. That might
be interesting to try some time, Shiv thought.
He wound up buying a pastry stuffed
with sun-dried tomatoes and basil,
and a triangle of baklava for dessert.
The bread was flaky and tender,
the tomatoes chewy with intense flavor.
Suddenly Shiv spied a rainbow,
which on closer inspection turned out
to be a table covered in all colors
of tomatoes -- white, green, yellow,
orange, red, and even purple.
He thought about getting one or two
of the big ones to slice for sandwiches,
but he settled instead on a carton of
multicolored cherry tomatoes so
he could try more different kinds.
At the next booth, Shiv found carrots
in every shade from yellow through
orange to reddish and purple.
Huh. Weird. Purple carrots,
he thought, poking at them.
"They have different flavors,"
said the lady shopping beside him.
"Different nutrients too, if you're
into that sort of thing."
Shiv ignored her, but he
remembered Dr. Bloch telling him
something similar, and he'd done
the Eat a Rainbow worksheets.
Carrots were simple to cook,
and could be eaten raw as snacks,
so Shiv bought a bunch of them.
The booth beyond that held
all kinds of peppers, big bells in
green and yellow, red and purple,
some long banana peppers that were
almost white, plump green jalapeños,
and tiny wrinkled red things that
Shiv didn't even recognize.
Alongside the peppers were
potatoes in wooden cartons.
The pink, white, and yellow ones
were familiar but he had never
seen blue potatoes before.
The perky farm girl behind
the counter leaned over and said,
"You look a little lost. Would you
like some advice? If you tell me
what you're making, I can suggest
which varieties will work best."
"I dunno," Shiv said, fidgeting.
He hadn't expected to get stuck
talking with people, but he was
learning the farmer's market wasn't
like a store where you could just
get your shit and get out. "I need
to restock the kitchen, I'm about out."
"Okay," she said. "I'm April. I don't
have baking potatoes this week, so
do you like mashed or boiled ones?"
"Either. Both," Shiv said. "Maybe
boiled? That's hard to fuck up."
He'd already set the kitchen on fire once,
no need to go looking for trouble.
"I recommend the fingerlings,"
April said, pointing to little cartons
full of tiny potatoes. "They're sweet,
and we have a bumper crop today,
so they're only three dollars a box."
"Yeah, that and a couple of bell peppers,
one red and one green," Shiv said,
pulling out his food card again.
This thing is really handy,
he thought as he completed
the sale and put it away.
He maybe owed Dr. Bloch a favor
for doing all the paperwork to get it.
After stuffing his newest purchases
into the bag, Shiv wandered around
for a while just looking at all the things
the farmer's market had to offer.
There was a flower vendor with
big buckets labeled Zinnias
Another sold whirligigs
made from scavenged junk.
Shiv could feel the sharp edges
of the metal twirling in the wind,
even though they spun too fast
for his eyes to follow them.
Pity he had no yard for one.
The woodworker caught Shiv's eye
with wall signs and boxes, but it was
the pieceworked end table that made
him sigh. I wish I could afford that,
he thought, but it was out of range.
Looping back by the jazz band,
he paused to listen to a few songs,
particularly the perky "Potato Head Blues."
Then he dropped another quarter
in the tip bucket before moving on.
Someone was selling farm-fresh eggs
out of picnic coolers on a table. Shiv
peeked at them and saw that the cartons
held a mix of white, cream, and brown eggs.
He got a dozen of them for only two dollars.
I wonder if the colors taste different,
like fruit does, or if they're all the same,
Shiv mused as he put them in his bag.
Next he came across a jerky vendor
with a variety of savory and sweet flavors.
Munching on that gave him something
to do with his hands and his mouth.
Then he reached the beekeeper.
A big booth advertised local honey in
various forms, with jars and honeybears
stacked on top of wooden crates.
A display case made from old windows
hummed with a number of live bees.
Shiv edged away from it, but he was
fascinated by their crawling dance.
A tasting station offered samples of
many different flavors on plain bread.
Shiv tried out the delicate linden and
complex wildflower and dark buckwheat.
There were honey sticks full of
sweet liquid sealed into straws.
Shiv collected one of each flavor,
holding them carefully like a bouquet
of flower stems without any heads.
Each straw had just enough to sweeten
a cup of tea, and one of the first things
he'd done with his kitchen was to stock
a cabinet with herbal teas based on
what he'd learned from Dr. Bloch.
Shiv was about ready to ring up
when he saw the beekeeper
hacking up a real honeycomb.
I haven't had that in years,
he realized. I miss eating it.
There had been a foster family
into wilderness stuff, and they
had put comb honey on the table.
It was delicious, and he liked to spit
the spent wax into his hand to play with.
The memory made Shiv's mouth water.
He looked at the price tag for
honey by the hunk and found
that it was actually cheaper
than the jars or the straws --
maybe because nobody
had to mess with it much.
The beekeeper just cut off
however much you wanted
and put it in a wooden box.
Shiv ordered a chunk and
made himself put it away
instead of eating it right then.
It'll be good on toast, he thought.
I can have it for breakfast tomorrow.
Another booth had not just vegetables
but also cuts of chicken and beef.
When Shiv saw the whole hens
in the refrigerator, he realized that
he already had what he would need
to cook one -- just throw it in a pot
with some carrots and potatoes.
He remembered to pull out
his daybook and write down what
he was buying in the meal planner.
If I make the chicken tomorrow, then
I can have one supper fresh, plus leftovers
for lunches all week, Shiv decided.
He jotted down the snacks too.
The chicken made his bag
a lot heavier, but it was worth it.
The cheese place was next,
and like the beekeeper's booth,
it had a bunch of free samples.
Shiv nibbled his way down the line,
elbowing people out of the way
when they tried to crowd him.
That got him some dirty looks, but he
didn't care. He wasn't a people person.
He managed to squirm into the front
and buy a sliver of Swiss cheese,
but the crowd was wearing on him.
Shiv made his way back to where
the jazz band was playing, in hopes
of using their music to soothe his mood.
This time they were playing mellower stuff,
like "Autumn Leaves," and Shiv thought
maybe he wasn't the only one starting
to feel a bit frazzled around the edges.
He stood for a while, just basking in
the sound of slow, sweet jazz and
letting the music wash over him
like it could rinse off all the things
that were getting on his nerves.
Then he tossed a quarter in
the tip bucket and turned to go.
"Hey, kid," the saxophonist called.
Shiv whipped his hands behind his back.
"I didn't do anything!" he protested.
"You've tipped us every time you've
walked by, and most folks only do that
once, if they tip at all," the older man said.
"You look twitchy, though. Why don't you
pick yourself a worry stone from that basket?
It might help you settle down a bit."
Shiv looked down. There on the table
beside the tip bucket was a basket
full of smooth stone slivers in
different shapes and colors.
He picked out a piece of
leaf-shaped onyx that was
mostly white with streaks of
brown through the middle.
His thumb just fit into the hollow
that was carved in one side of it,
and he liked the slick, waxy feel.
Huh. This thing really does
make me feel calmer, he mused.
"Thanks," Shiv said, waving
his hand with the worry stone.
As he moved on, he noticed
a display of herbs, some cut in
bundles to use fresh, and others
still in pots to grow for later.
"I know it's late in the season, but
those will keep just fine over the winter,"
said the man behind the counter.
Shiv's hand drifted over the tips
of the potted plants. One in particular
caught his attention, a planter made from
an old wooden drawer, now divided into
six sections full of rosemary, chervil,
thyme, oregano, sage, and mint.
It wasn't cheap, but he was pretty sure
that he could keep the plants alive, and
herbs made everything taste better.
That was something Shiv
was learning from Cook.
So he pulled out his wallet
and bought the planter. The cost
meant he'd have to catch the matinee
this week instead of the evening show,
and sneak in his own snack rather than
buying from the concession stand.
That's fine with me, he thought.
Concession's a ripoff anyway.
Shiv balanced the drawer
on one hip and his shopping bag,
now mostly full, on the opposite shoulder.
He wandered among the booths,
looking for bargains as it got closer to
closing time for the farmer's market.
A clean, spicy smell pulled at him
and Shiv turned the corner to find
a lady selling soap and bath supplies.
There were soaps made from
goat milk and oatmeal and clay,
mostly in shades of white and tan, but
some of them were brighter colors like
yellow, orange, and a soft bluish-purple.
That was reassuring. Shiv didn't
really trust the paint-colored soaps
that he had seen for sale elsewhere --
sometimes those gave him a rash.
He recognized some of the herbs that
these soaps included like orange,
chamomile, lavender, and pine.
There had been a bar of
peppermint deodorant soap in
his apartment above Blues Moon, but
not for his apartment in Public Housing.
So Shiv sliced off a modest sliver
of the Morning Sun soap, enjoying
the bright, uplifting scent of lemon.
He was running out of money,
but that was okay. Dymin had
taught him the neat trick of taking
only what he could afford to spend.
Besides, it's almost closing time,
Shiv said to himself as he turned back
toward the bus stop. He wandered along
the sidewalk, still watching the booths.
One of them held mostly leaves, with
a few bundles of radishes and beets.
The farmer grinned at him, but Shiv
just wrinkled his nose and walked on.
"Not a salad fan? How about fruit?"
called the next vendor down the line.
He had warm toffee skin and a smile
so engaging that Shiv found himself
smiling back. "Uh, yeah, I like fruit."
"I'm Terrell," the vendor said,
waving a hand at his display.
"Come take a look at what we've
got from the orchard this week."
Big wooden bins full of apples and
pears were stacked next to each other,
forming the front of the booth.
"If you see something you like,
let me know and I can sample it
for you," Terrell offered, like it was
perfectly normal for someone to stare
at the fragrant heaps of fruit without
a frigging clue what to do with them.
"I, um ..." Shiv trailed off,
gazing at the bins. He didn't
recognize any of the stuff, except
it was apples and pears of some sort.
He knew apples from the supermarket,
Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious, and
he'd eaten Bartlett pears from a can.
These apples were streaky light red,
or yellow with blushing cheeks, and
one bin was bizarrely pink and green.
There were green pears, too, and
another bin of yellow-and-brown ones.
"Would you like a lesson?" Terrell said,
holding out one of the streaky apples.
"I guess," Shiv said, shuffling his feet.
So Terrell flicked open his pocketknife
and began deftly slicing wedges off of
the apples for Shiv to taste, naming
each variety as they went along.
The streaky apples were Honeycrisps,
with a bright sweet flavor. The yellows
were Honey Gold, apparently hardier than
Golden Delicious but with a similar taste.
The reds were September Wonder, like Fujis
but better suited to Nebraska's short summers.
The pink-and-green were Strawberry Explorers,
which in fact tasted a bit like strawberries.
"Honeycrisp and September Wonder
are the best for baking," Terrell said.
"Honey Gold and Strawberry Explorer
are dessert apples, for eating fresh.
So what do you think of them?"
"Get one of each?" Shiv said.
He had no idea how to pick them,
so Terrell showed him, gently explaining
what to look for in each variety.
"Try the pears?" Terrell said,
opening his knife again.
"Yeah, okay," Shiv said.
At this rate, I won't need lunch.
The round green pears were Anjous,
crisp and slightly sweet. The yellow ones
were Bartletts, so tender that they melted
in his mouth and dripped down his chin.
Laughing, Shiv caught the juice
with his fingers and swept it
all back into his mouth.
"So is that a yes on the pears?"
Terrell asked as he cleaned his knife.
"I dunno," Shiv said. "I'm running
kind of low on money here."
"I have seconds," Terrell said.
"Huh?" Shiv said, frowning.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Seconds are fruits or vegetables with
blemishes, so they aren't good enough
to sell at full price," Terrell said. "I'm about
out of apples because plenty of people make
pies or applesauce with those, but almost nobody
cooks with pears -- I've got almost a bushel left."
"Where?" Shiv said, looking around and
wondering where the bargains were stashed.
"Under here," Terrell said. He pointed
below the table that held the cash register.
Without hesitation, Shiv ducked under
the table to check out the pears in the basket
whose sign read, Seconds $1 per pound.
They looked grody -- some with bruises,
others with actual holes in them, and
even a few bugs crawling on the skin --
but he had eaten worse and these
were cheap, cheap, cheap.
Trouble was, Shiv's shopping bag
was already full to the brim.
"Do you have something else
I could put these in?" he asked.
"Might could be," Terrell said.
"How many do you want?"
"I don't know ... some?" Shiv said.
"It's fifteen minutes to closing, I'll never
sell those things, and I hate to waste them,"
Terrell said. "Could you put them to use?"
The hell I'm gonna do with ALL THOSE pears?
Shiv wondered, although it almost hurt
to turn down a deal that good.
Then he realized that he could just
skim a few off the top for himself, and
take the rest of them to Cook in the kitchen
for use in whatever special he thought up.
"Yeah, I work at a jazz joint, we can
cook 'em up tonight," Shiv said.
"Ten bucks for the bushel, and
I'll throw in your four apples,"
Terrell said in a coaxing tone.
No way have I got that much
left on my card, Shiv thought with
a sinking sensation. Swiping the card
showed that it had $3.75 remaining.
He scrabbled through his pockets
and turned up another five dollars
in singles and assorted coins.
That was it, except for his bus pass
and the emergency cash hidden
inside his flip wallet that Shiv
knew better than to use.
"This is all I got left," he said.
"How about half the basket?"
Terrell looked at the handful
of cash and his veggie card.
"Ah, just take it," he said, then
winked at Shiv. "You can always
come back here next week and hit
my booth first, before you run low."
"Gee, thanks!" Shiv said, who had
in fact been planning to do just that.
Of course, no sooner did they
complete the exchange than he
realized he had another problem.
How the devil am I supposed to get
all this stuff home? Shiv wondered,
staring at the bushel basket and
the planter of herbs that he had set
on the table while he sampled fruit.
"Show you a trick?" Terrell said,
waving at Shiv's enormous haul.
"Please," Shiv said gratefully.
He was starting to realize that
the farmer's market wasn't just a place
for everyone to buy and sell shit, it was
actually creating a community around food.
That made Shiv happy for some reason
he couldn't quite explain to himself.
I'm really glad that Dr. Bloch tipped me
to this place, he thought. I never
would've found it on my own.
"Bushel basket's meant to take
a hefty load," Terrell said. "So you
can set anything solid on top of it,
and it'll carry just fine." He placed
the drawer of herbs across the rim,
and handed everything to Shiv.
It was heavy, but Shiv had been
busting his ass in the gym, so
it wasn't quite impossible.
He could make it back to
the bus stop with this load, if
he was careful and didn't dawdle
on the way. The autumn weather
was cool enough that he wouldn't
sweat himself half to death.
"Thank you," he said again.
"See you next week?"
Terrell asked with a smile.
Shiv felt his own lips curling.
"Yeah," he said. "I'd like that."
Then he headed toward the bus stop,
and despite the weight of his load,
there was a spring in his step.
* * *
April Pedersdatter -- She has tawny-fair skin that tans well, deep blue eyes, and wavy dark blonde hair that bleaches wheat-pale in the sun. Her heritage includes Norse, German, and French. April lives and works on a farm just outside of Omaha, Nebraska; she sells her produce at the farmer's market in the Old Market area. She is pretty in a wholesome way, but a total failure at dressing up in anything feminine. April wears overalls and a t-shirt most of the time, ties her hair up with a hankie, and prefers clodhoppers to high heels. Men can like it or lump it. Her cheerful disposition helps her make friends, especially with other female farmers, but so far none of her boyfriends have stuck around long-term.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cheerful, Good (+2) Farm Girl Friends, Good (+2) Market Gardener, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Stamina
Poor (-2) Dressing Like a Girl
Terrell Emerson -- He has toffee skin, brown eyes, and short nappy hair of dark brown. His heritage includes African, Indian, and American. Terrell lives near Omaha, where he keeps an orchard with his family and comes into town to sell fruit at the farmer's market in the Old Market area. Warm and affectionate, he makes friends easily and attracts a loyal customer base. As a hobby, Terrell enjoys grafting trees into unusual shapes. In the winter, he makes and sells custom-grown furniture.
Qualities: Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Fast Rapport, Good (+2) Market Gardener, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Tree Circus Trainer
Poor (-2) Can't Grow Annuals
Tree shaping relies on techniques such as bending and grafting to turn trees into live sculptures or even furniture. In T-America, the original Tree Circus created by Axel Erlandson still stands as a famous roadside attraction in Scotts Valley, California. Many people have subsequently studied, shared, and promoted the hobby of training trees into unusual shapes and many towns have someone known for doing it. Learn how to mold and shape trees.
This is the farmer's knife that Terrell keeps in his pocket. It can be used for grafting trees or paring fruit. In T-America, knives are still considered everyday tools and many people carry one.
* * *
"What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food. Consumers purchase their food directly from the producers, and they build relationships with the people who provide them with their food. It’s exciting for me to bring people to farmers markets who haven’t been before and to give them the opportunity to taste many of the fruits and vegetables that the producers are growing. Farmers want us to sample their food before buying. They’re confident that it’s going to be delicious because it’s freshly picked."
-- Bryant Terry
Farmer's markets offer many benefits. A variety of supplementary food programs allow people better access to fresh produce through such venues. Terramagne-America includes programs for released inmates and other disadvantaged people to improve their diet and hopefully their lives; this works, and Shiv is a good example. Understand how to shop at a farmer's market, choose the best produce, and save money.
The Omaha Farmer's Market has several locations including the Old Market where Shiv goes. Enjoy a photo-essay about it. This calendar shows when each type of fruit or vegetable typically comes into season in Omaha.
Take a look at the Old Market booths, where farmers sell all kinds of produce. The first place Shiv stops is the swag table to buy a reusable shopping bag.
His next stop is the jazz band. The saxophone spans a family of instruments in various sizes, generally classed as woodwind despite the brass body. Most people learn on the alto, from which they may later switch to a higher soprano or lower tenor. Farmer's markets tend to encourage buskers. Listen to "The Garden Song." "Potato Head Blues" is a well-known jazz song about food. "Autumn Leaves" is among the jazz standards that you should learn.
Worry stones are used for relaxation, and they have a long history. They come in many types, of which onyx is grounding and soothing. Here's a typical selection. In this picture, Shiv's worry stone is the one on the right.
Shiv stops to buy a tomato-basil pastry and baklava for dessert.
He picks up a carton of cherry tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are among the most flavorful. You can grow your own cherry tomatoes or other heirlooms. I have found mixed cherry tomatoes a spectacular addition to spaghetti sauce or sloppy joe filling.
Carrots come in many colors now, and each one tastes different. They look very pretty when roasted together. You can grow a blend of carrots or individual colors.
Eat a Rainbow is a program which encourages people to eat brightly colored foods for better nutrition. Explore a chart showing the colors and their nutrients.
This booth sells peppers and potatoes. Sweet and hot peppers come in all kinds, so choose thoughtfully. Here are some ways to use peppers. Rainbow potatoes are good for boiling, roasting and other uses.
Flowers often appear at farmer's markets. Zinnias are among the most popular cut flowers and easy to grow. Amaranth has many dramatic forms, including love-lies-bleeding, which you can grow at home.
Shiv is fascinated by the whirligigs. These can be made with things such as gears or lids. Here are instructions for making them from pop cans and tin plates.
See the woodworker's booth.
Shiv also finds someone selling eggs. Comepare store-bought with farm-fresh eggs. Heirloom eggs come from mixed flocks of chickens. While local-America favors commercial breeds for mass production in controlled conditions, heritage breeds have much more variety and often perform better in private flocks. In T-America, farm-fresh eggs are generally not washed, although they may be dry-brushed to remove debris. This is the safer option, because eggs come out of the hen with a natural coating to protect them against bacteria. Eggs are supposed to be labeled as to whether they have been washed and/or refrigerated. In local-Europe, it's actually illegal to wash the eggs; in America, it's required for all commercial producers and in some areas also small ones.
This is the jerky booth. Jerky has many benefits. There are basic and more diverse recipes.
Local honey is awesome stuff. Beekeepers often display it with live bees. Each type of flower produces its own color and flavor signature. Linden is among the most delicate. Wildflower is often on the lighter end, but more complex due to containing multiple flowers. Buckwheat is a very dark honey, brown to almost black, with a robust nutty flavor. Comb honey may be sold by the chunk. Honey sticks come in many flavors. You can also make your own.
This booth sells vegetables, chicken, and beef. Pastured chicken is more flavorful and nutritious compared to factory-farmed chicken. You can boil chicken in a saucepan or slow cooker. Understand that pastured chicken will be chewier because the birds get more exercise. I like the crockpot approach to make the meat fall off the bones.
Cheese is another farmer's market staple. Small dairies often make their own unique cheeses. Many factors contribute to the flavor and texture of cheese. Explore a list of American cheeses.
Potted plants appear at some farmer's markets. Shiv's herb box contains (from left to right, top to bottom) rosemary, chervil, thyme, oregano, sage, and mint. It is upcycled from an old wooden drawer.
Soap is another popular product. T-America supports many more small handicrafters than here, so such offerings are easy to find. Homemade soap comes in different types. Goat milk, oatmeal, clay, and herbs are among the common ingredients. Lemongrass essential oil may be used in hot process or glycerin soaps.
Greens are ubiquitous at farmer's markets. Shiv is not a fan, though.
This booth sells apples and pears, including cooking pears.
Nebraska orchards sell a wide range of apples and pears. Trees, Shrubs & More, Inc. offers apples in Empire Royal Red, Empire, Honey Gold, Braeburn, Fuji, Jon-A-Red, Cortland, Ultra Gold (Delicious), Gala, Honeycrisp, and Candy Crisp.
Other Fruit includes 20th Century and Olympic Giant Asian Pears and Moonglow, Red Sensation, and Bartlett Pears as well as thornless blackberries. Vala's Pumpkin Patch & Orchard sells the apples Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, and September Wonder Fuji.
Red Delicious started out as a proper cultivar, but now many different strains masquerade as the real thing -- almost all of them greatly inferior. What used to be a very popular apple has become an iconic example of tasteless supermarket produce. Honeycrisp is a streaky apple that ripens in September. Honey Gold is a greenish-yellow apple with blushing cheeks. Discovery is a pink-and-green apple that sometimes has a strawberry flavor. The T-American cultivar Strawberry Explorer is a seedling of Discovery, selected for its strong and consistent strawberry taste. September Wonder is a bright red Fuji type apple that ripens early.
Pears by Amount
bushel 48 to 50 1 bu = 20 to 25 qt. canned
2 to 2 1/3 lb. = 1 qt. canned
1 to 1 1/2 lb. = 1 pt. frozen
1 cup pared, sliced = 2/5 lb.
lug 21 to 24
peck 12 to 14
Pears by End Product
1 bushel (56 lbs.)
20-25 quarts (canned)
40-50 pints (frozen)
2 - 2.5 lbs.
1 quart (canned)
2 pints (frozen)
Cooking pears come in several varieties. Read about the best pears for pies. Here are recipes for pear butter, pies, and poached pears. In L-America the vast majority of commercial pears are dessert pears; finding cooking pears can be difficult. T-America still has more people cooking, so it's easier to find cooking pears. Anjou is an oblong pear, which can be either green or red, great for cooking. Bartlett is a sweet yellow pear, good raw or cooked.