It seemed like this year's Bosc pears all ripened overnight, down in the cellar. One day a few were just starting to change color, by the next some were only fit for the chickens. So I had to do something to process the rest of them quick. I also had some non-storage apples starting to soften, a dehydrator tray full of the last of the grapes that hadn't dried enough to store, and the last of the Asian pears still in the refrigerator crisper. Why not just mix everything together?
So I started looking for Pear/Apple Mincemeatless recipes. Most used way more sugar than I wanted. I ended up adapting this one. As it was cooking, with the orange peel and the spices, it made the whole house smell wonderful. I ended up with six quarts, plus three more cups in the refrigerator. I'm thinking I'll add some chopped nuts when I go to make a jarful into a pie.
As long as I had the grinder out, I figured I might as well get a start on my Thanksgiving dinner preparations. I made up a batch of my favorite uncooked cranberry relish - grinding together a bag of cranberries, an orange, peel and all, and a handful of walnuts, then stirring in 3/4 cup of sugar.
The grinder I found in a rental house years ago, forgotten in a high cupboard. It leaks, so I have to put a bowl on a stool underneath when I use it. When Aries built the kitchen (before I knew him), he made a pull-out wooden shelf under part of the counter. It was supposed to be a pastry board, but I have a huge piece of recycled bowling alley for a cutting board that works even better for pastry. I use the shelf for attaching the grinder (and the apple peeler) so I don't dent my countertops or kitchen table. However, if I were around when he was building the kitchen, I would have had him put the shelf on the other side of the sink. Where it is, it's too close to the stove to attach those old right-handed appliances on the other side, where they'd be easier to use. The shelf does pull out enough, though, that I can still turn the handle. It's a bit awkward, but it works.