We didn't exactly pack the larder last fall, so I've been rationing the goodies we were able to put up. This was the first year that our Keifer pear tree put on fruit. Only special occasions have warranted opening one of the seven jars up until now, but it's January and we needed a taste of sunshine. We can thank the internet for our success with the pears; they were nearly pig food. It turns out that no matter how long Keifer pears hang on the tree, they will not ripen! We watched them from July until September remain unchanged before I went searching for answers online. The trick is to pick them while they are still hard and ripen them for two months in paper sacks in the basement. The beauty of this is not only that it worked, but that all the pears were ripe at the same time. Scott and I spent a late night cutting and canning for far better results than grocery store pears.