This is the last of a pear crop on my neighbor's tree. My neighbor doesn't use them and they drop on the ground and go to waste. Quite small, mottled, tough skinned, misshapen pears, some with bird pecks and bruises.
Waste is not in my vocabulary, thanks to depression era parents. Whenever you read a recipe you are exhorted to use the "best" fruit, choose items without blemishes, bruises and so on. By that definition, these were substandard.
I cut out the bad spots, cored them and diced them up with out paring. Put them in a pan with a glob of butter and less than a half inch of water and cooked them for about 15 minutes. They were somewhat hard to begin with, some Bartletts, some comice.
They kept their shape and were tender, rich and buttery when done. We ate some spooned generously over sage and rosemary seasoned chicken breast that had been pan cooked with spinach and festooned with feta cheese. Delicious!
The next morning, sprinkled with cinnamon, we ate them on oatmeal with a dab of brown sugar and milk. Excellent!
The following night, we enjoyed them in a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette followed by desert of a heaping tablespoon of the pears, with juice, covered with vanilla yogurt.
I was surprised at several friends who confessed to being clueless when it comes to using pears. I had never tried just dicing them and cooking them, before, either. I surprised myself with a good way to use pears.