My mom is not a cook. I'm not sure where I got it, because that woman will only make things that involve the words "instant" and "ready-made." *holds vomit in* Anyway, that being said, before I left the house in 1994, I had only ever tasted canned pears. So there's absolutely no mystery why I thought I didn't like them.
I have since then discovered that I LOVE pears. My favorite is the sweet and juicy Green Anjou, but I also like Red Bartletts, super crisp Seckels, and dense, flavorful Boscs. Boscs have a shorter shelf life than an Anjou, but when they're good, they're good. My all-time favorite way to eat a pear is simply raw, with a hunk of good cheese and a glass of crisp white wine. Seen below, my mid-morning snack of a good Bosc and some fresh Edam:
OK, so I forewent the wine, as it's 9:30am. *weg*
I have a really good self-developed dessert made with pears, and Chanelle has inspired me to post if for you here:
4 large pears of your favorite variety, or whatever is in season
4 T brown sugar
1/4 C walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 C gorgonzola (or your favorite bleu) cheese, crumbled
about 4-6 oz. good port
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. It's easiest if you have a corer, but you can do it yourself with a long, thin, sturdy knife. Remove each core while keeping the pear intact (including the bottom). Nestle the pears in a square baking dish so they fit snugly and don't fall over. I use an 8x8 Pyrex which works if you have fairly big pears. If not, put them in indivual ramekins in the dish. Stuff each core cavity with thin layers of brown sugar, gorgonzola, and toasted walnuts. Fill up the cavity with port. Bake about 20 minutes or so, until the pears collapse in on themselves. Serve immediately.
Sorry there are no pictures, but this is an incredibly rich and beautiful dessert, and is actually very healthy! It's full of vitamins A and C, fiber, and calcium. Enjoy!