Last fall I took up home canning. It is one of those things that my mother always did while I ran and hid in order to avoid being forced to help. Then, last fall I came to the point in my life where it didn't sound so terrible, and I do like to eat bottled fruit, so I dug in.
Last year the drama was finding a canner. I looked high and low, all the while the pears on my counter were getting riper and riper, until finally I found a place on line to buy a steam canner. This is the type of canner my mother used and it is what I wanted.
This year the pears sat on my counter until they were so ripe I had to put them in the fridge because I was too busy getting ready for my open house. Today I got all ready to start and realised I don't know how long I need to process them. I didn't expect this to be a problem. I don't remember having a hard time finding this out last year. Alas, I cannot find in all of my google searches the length of time necessary to safely preserve my now brown pears at my altitude.
The problem, again is the steam canner. All I can find in reference to steam canners is the warning not to use them because you might kill your whole family with Botulism.
I have been eating steam canned fruit for most of my life. I do not think you need to worry about Botulism unless you don't steam can properly. Since I cannot find the information I need in order to do it properly ,my choices seem to be. a) let the pears turn to mush in the drawers of my refrigerator while I search in vain for the processing time. b) Seal up some bottles of death for my family to enjoy all winter long. or c) let the pears get a little bit squishier and take them to the park to throw at unsuspecting children.
I am leaning toward c.