I don't know what variety of pears these are, or how big they should be. With the drought this year, all the fruit from unirrigated trees seem much smaller than usual. These pears are roughly baseball sized, light green, and hard, with a concave bottom. Most had a little bit of what I believe to be pear scab, and I noticed some codling moth damage, but over all they looked pretty good. I took a test bite, and even though the flesh was very hard, it was fairly sweet.
According to Master Gardener and Gulf Coast Fruit Study Group Coordinator Yvonne Gibbs, the recommended method to ripen pears is as follows:
1. Pick the pears when they have most of their color, but aren't yet ripe. Leave the stems on.
2. Wrap individual pears in paper towels, and pack two layers deep in a box.
3. Put the box of pears in the fridge for 2+ weeks.
4. Pull box out of fridge and keep at room temperature for a week. They will ripen and soften.
I kind-of followed these directions. I didn't wrap every pear in a paper towel (that's a lot of paper towels), and since I didn't have enough room in the fridge for multiple boxes with only two layers of pears, I just packed them all into one box. I put the box in the fridge, and marked the calendar so I wouldn't forget to take them out.
Boy #1 was disappointed that we couldn't eat the pears right then, but I'm sure he's going to enjoy them in a few weeks. We also plan to mush some up for Boy #2. There are still hundreds of small pears on the other pear tree that are only slightly bigger than golf balls. With no rain in the forecast, I'm pretty sure they're not going to get much bigger. I'm thinking of picking those next week, letting them ripen, and juicing them to make pear cider and baby food.