Friendship Maine. And seasonal Maine Pears

by Robert Stafford

Photo credit: Laura Cabot

These are the Seckel pairs pickled as my Great Grandmother Ida taught me to cherish when I was a boy. She was born in 1871 and lived to 1972. They are an important part of many dinners and especially Holidays in my family. I make them as presents for my 9 brother and sisters. When I would make them with Grammy I would always tell her that I can’t wait to eat some with Thanksgiving Turkey or with a big slice of Extra sharp cheddar. She lived her whole life in Vermont so cheddar cheese was always around. She would smile and say she was glad I liked them and would always comment that after a long hard Vermont winter the jars in her pantry of seckel pears might be the only thing to get them thru the winter in the 1800s. Even today almost every farm in Vermont and infanct much of all New England had at least one seckel pear tree. My dad had two I have one. Slice a few and try them with the sharpest cheddar you can find. We eat them with beef, turkey, even salmon. Place them on a cedar wrapped salmon and cook on grill. Awesome. When the jar is empty of pairs I use the juice as a base for my bbq sauce or smoking bath/ glaze.