And right now, the 'things' in my season are apples and pears. LOTS of apples and pears!
Today I am turning "ugly" fruit into side dishes. I have several baskets of pears and apples that are below quality of what I can sell, but are too good to pitch out for the wildlife to enjoy (as do the extremely sub-par fruit).
"There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have to agree with Mr. Emerson; since pears can go bad very quickly, I chose to work with them first. And, as usual, I did not have any kind of plan in mind, other than knowing that I did not want to can them. Chunky pear/apple sauce came to mind. I changed that mind when I began peeling the pears because I thought that they look rather nice and can hold their own in the taste department.
After washing, peeling, and chopping the pears, I cooked them for a short while. I added a splash of apple cider to get the cooking started. Just before the pears were done I mixed in a tablespoon of mulling spices (which includes sugar). Other options that could work is to leave the pears alone or add a dash of cinnamon with a couple of teaspoons of sugar or honey.
When the pears were cooked, I put them in freezer containers. They are cooling on the counter before heading for the freezer shelves. When snow flies, these pears will be a nice reminder of this glorious autumn. I'll be thankful for the harvest, and as I am lazing about during long winter nights, I'll also be thankful that the harvest season is over.