I’m not sure why pears are associated with Christmas, but they are. Maybe it has something to do with that partridge in a pear tree. In today’s market that partridge in a pear tree would cost $220, up $55 from last year. No wonder people just give the pears.

My brother-in-law Phil gave us a tower of yummy foods as a gift, and of course pears were included. I don’t know why, but I don’t buy pears. To tell the truth, I’m not sure if I’ve ever eaten a pear that wasn’t out of a can and drowned in heavy syrup before. I discovered I’ve been missing a delicious fruit.

I’m trying to vary the ingredients that go into my family’s meals. Over the past couple of years, I’ve made our meals healthier by adding mostly whole foods, organics, whole grains and more fruits and vegetables. I’ve also eliminated things like partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, and the majority of high fructose corn syrup. This year, I’m going to concentrate on adding new foods and putting ingredients in places that are unexpected.

I looked at those yummy pears and decided that I was going to see what else I could do with them besides peal them and eat them plain (which is a perfectly acceptable way to eat a pear.)

Here’s what I came up with. Both of these recipes are taken from one of my go-to recipe sites, allrecipes.com.

Gorgonzola Bread – I have a new favorite flavor combination. Pears and stinky cheese. These little appetizers were amazing. Easy and delicious. Simply slice French bread, brush with olive oil (or melted butter), add a few pear slices, top with Gorgonzola cheese and bake till cheese is melted. The recipe also called for walnuts, but I didn’t have them so I made it without.

A little word of warning. Your kitchen will stink. It’s worth it. I ate two slices of the Gorgonzola bread with a large salad for lunch and felt satisfied.

Pear Scones – If you’re looking for perfect triangle scones like the ones you get from the bakery, you’ll be out of luck. If you’re looking for a delicious scone that you’ve made yourself with ingredients that you choose, here’s a good recipe.

The recipe made 8, but I halved it (allrecipes has a feature that does it for you – very convenient) because if they weren’t to our liking, I didn’t want to have a lot of waste. These were good, and I will make them again.

Chopped pears are added to basic scone ingredients like flour, brown sugar, egg, and a little half and half – all of which can be organic if you choose.

I found a few salad recipes with pears on other sites that I’m going to give a try when local pears come in season later this year:

Almond Chicken Pear Salad

Strawberry Pear Salad

Roquefort and Pear Salad

If you were given pears as a gift this holiday season and they are still hanging around in your refrigerator, go ahead and eat one straight. Then do something unexpected with the rest.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Do the unexpected with pears
Did you get pears without the partridge and tree for the holidays that are still lying around? Do the unexpected with them.