A friend of ours recently came by and asked if we were interested in getting some free pears from her in-laws' trees. Food just for the picking? Of course!
The trees were overflowing with pears, but they weren't the pretty ones you see in the supermarket. These were smaller pears, hard-skinned and blotchy, but utterly delicious. We picked as many as we could that day (a half-bushel basket and a few bags full) and brought them home for processing. Getting them ready for canning is amazingly simple -- it takes nothing but time and a peeler, a grapefruit spoon, and a knife.
We ended up canning them in a light syrup, and have the recipe here.