In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Greg has been very industrious in the department of canning.
He has made apple butter, three kinds of apple sauce, pear chutney, apple chutney, grape jam, strawberry preserves, apple jelly, and pickled peppers. I love to stand in the breezeway and admire it all. I'm especially entranced by four quart jars of brandied whole pears.

We picked the pears two weeks ago and they are gradually becoming ripe enough to use. After they are off the tree, they take a while to ripen and you just have to guess how they are doing since they keep it under their hats. Then they are perfect for a day or two, but secretly, then they descend into mealy blandness followed quickly by mushy rottenness. Also they are individualists and do not do any of this evolving as a group. So if you have, say, two or three hundred pears you will have two or three hundred different schedules for becoming mush.
But this year, for the first time, we have finally begun to outsmart the pears. So now besides the brandied pears and the pear chutney there are pear tarts in the freezer and fresh pears to eat and soon pear cider, which is called perry, which is so clever since this house was built by Perrys.


Piecefulafternoon said...

What a lovely view. It is so satisfying to put up food for the winter. I've had pear cider and it is heavenly!!!

Ann said...

I've been following your blog for a while, so I thought today I would say thanks!
What a bountiful harvest! I just love to see rows of preserves lined up. Even here in Calgary I try to put up some preserves every year.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

D Baker said...

Thank you for your blog. What an extraordinary life you are having, I delight in your writings and I have just lost myself for over an hour, can not wait to return!