After a full summer of harvesting the season's bounty, if you've still got enough oomph to preserve a bit more of it for your pantry or freezer, consider classic fruit butters. There's no butter in these butters, of course.
But there is plenty of fruit, and a whole lot of flavor. So during the Northwest apple and pear harvests, consider putting up a few batches of this old-fashioned treat as well.
Find Jan's recipe for Oven-Roasted Apple or Pear Butter in our online Recipe Box, a searchable database of more than 3,700 dishes. See mailtribune.com/recipes. Type the title into the page's search field.
To find a great selection of local apples and pears, head out to farmers markets. This is where many growers will be offering samples, so you can actually taste before you buy.
I used to steer clear of fruit butter-making activities because of the mess from lavalike glops of thick fruit puree erupting from the pot during cooking. There also was a certain amount of risk to any bare skin in the path of this flying fruit, which if prepared in a pot on top of the stove, has to be stirred almost continuously to keep it from sticking and scorching.
However, several years ago I learned from a veteran preserver that primo butters can be created in the oven, or even on the kitchen counter in either an old-fashioned or retro-newfangled, electric roaster. Risks associated with the stovetop method are reduced dramatically.
Plus, during the process, your house will smell more delicious than any apple-scented candle ever could.
Jan Roberts-Dominguez is a Corvallis food writer, artist and author of "Oregon Hazelnut Country, the Food, the Drink, the Spirit" and four other cookbooks. Readers can contact her by email at email@example.com or obtain additional recipes and food tips on her blog at www.janrd.com.