Before we left for California I picked 15 pounds of pears from our neighbor's tree. In previous years I watched as they went unpicked, fell and rotted on the ground. This year I decided: not on my watch. At the time they were green and hard as rocks but I put them in brown paper bags in my basement and when we got home they were yellow, ripe and juicy. The bulk of them got made into pear jam. After last year's experiment with canning I swore it would be years before I undertook such a labor again. But I'm so glad I did it. And the luscious jam is a very just reward. I hope it will make a welcome gift for some dear friends.