I have a confession to make. I've been eating Ontario peaches. Yes, I have a weakness for them since I did grow up, at least partly, in Ontario and when those Niagara peaches came in it was just heaven for us. Dad would smush them up with a little sugar and put them on pancakes and we all forgave him for moving us to Ontario from the Maritimes. And the smell of ripe peaches wafting through the kitchen.... Fabulous. But my fall from grace has been brought to an end because last week I discovered Nova Scotia peaches at Cochrane's. My guilt has been assauged. I can continue happily eating peaches even as local apples and pears and plums start filling the stores. I did also stock up on plums from Gagetown while at Cochrane's. And I picked up a basket of "Eco-logik" labelled (reduced chemical input) pears from La Fleur du Pommier (at Les Digues in Shediac but also available at the farm and the Dieppe market). For a while there I was inundated with peaches and plums and pears, and there's really only so much you can do with peaches and plums (although there are some good peach dessert recipes out there and peaches and chicken go together nicely as well...)
Pears, on the other hand, are very versatile fruits. Good thing since clearly local pears are in full season now. I found local pears, both red and yellow, at Baleman's in the Saint John City Market - and they are no doubt showing up in farm markets all over the province. I make a marvellous ginger pear crisp and pears can pretty much subsitute for apples in most cases. But this year I have promised myself I would "put up" some pears in a light syrup (i.e. can them). So I'll let you know how that goes. But now is the time to get on those fall food preserving projects. So get out your canners everyone!