The Giving Pear Tree & Me

When I was a tot, there was a special place I would go to like clockwork whenever autumn would arrive. There, sitting on the edge of our property, was a pear tree waiting morning after morning for me like the most reliable of companions. Its leaves began to give way to the season and break with the breeze, like linking chains being severed to count down till the days of winter. The jackets of the fruit reflected the season with pale shades of buttery green and deep hues of burgundy. Its skin, vulnerable and speckled, much like the freckles on my nose. Imperfect perfection.

But I was not the only member of the family that adored these little gems. The dirt around the base of the tree was littered with partially eaten fruit and the finger pointed to one direction, our Dalmatian, Penny. She was quite fond of pears as well. Playing fetch with pears and Penny was fruitless because she devoured the little autumnal nuggets and ne’er returned.

In these mornings, I beat her to the giving tree, but in a matter of moments, I could hear her panting and whining over the fact I had hoarded all of the ripened fruit. In my thickest Cajun accent I would yell, “Noooo Penny, these are myyyy pears!” She sat beside me quietly, licking my sticky fingers while sweet nectar dribbled from my chin. After my feast, I got up, patted the auburn leaves off my denim shorts and put my arm around the trunk of the tree as a farewell gesture, thanking it for the adoring autumn pear.

Recipe: Inspired by Minimally Invasive & Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 8

Roasted Pears:

4 Pears

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of sugar

2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 3750

Cut pears in half lengthwise and core center. Place the pear halves cut side up onto a baking dish. Pour the lemon juice and water into the dish, sprinkle with sugar and dot the tops of the pears with butter. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Flip the pears over and bake for another 30 minutes. You will know when they are ready whenever you can pierce the pear with a knife with no resistance.

Spiced Cream:

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk all ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Transfer the cream to the fridge until ready to use.

To Plate:

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of honey

Place cream at the bottom of the serving dish. Place 1 pear half per person onto plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey.

Spiced Cream & Warm Thoughts

Long days begin to shorten once again. Earth cools and the leaves begin the burn with various shades of amber. Frigid air stings at my nose, not a painful prick, but an invigorating bite. An awakening of the soul, of something new to come.

A season of warmth, not of stifling temperatures, but of soothing comfort.  Here is to flushed cheeks, snug, cozy deer sweaters, your grandma’s warm apple pie, hot chocolate billowing with marshmallows and fireplaces calmly crackling in the background. Let us cast off the busyness of the summer and embrace the joyous tranquility that comes as the gift of autumn.

This spiced ice cream is like a perfect fall day: chilly and frosty but speckled with cinnamon and nutmeg that warms the heart. So go ahead, bring out the scarves, stock up on tea and break out the plaid. It’s here. It’s autumn.

“Behold the old is gone, the new has come”-2 Corinthians 5:17

Recipe: Makes 1 Quart

6 egg yolks

½ cup of brown sugar

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream and spices to a simmer. While the cream is coming up to a simmer, whisk the yolks and sugar together until thick. While continuously whisking, slowly pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, transfer to a double boiler (or a bowl over a pot of simmering water) and stir continuously until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 8 minutes.) Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator until fully chilled. Transfer the base to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container and let ice cream set completely for at least 2 more hours.

French Toast

I am a firm believer that if a person does not love breakfast they do not love life. Maybe those people who do agree are morning people. The morning is a magical time of the day. There is stillness, a peacefulness that captivates the dwelling. As I walk across the house, room to room, hoping not to wake anyone else, I make my way directly to the kitchen. I automatically make coffee because my very happiness and sanity depends on it. And then, robe and slippers and coffee and all, I look outside and thank God for the day. After a few moments, I slide back into the kitchen and with as little noise as possible make a beautiful breakfast. One of my favorites is French toast. I remember watching my Paw-Paw make French toast. He made his with a copious amount of sugar, which satisfies any Southerners sweet tooth. The smell of cinnamon and butter cooking together brings me back to the mornings with Grannie and Paw-Paw. They made breakfast a special time. It was in that one moment that we spent time together before the chaos of the day began. So as I stand there, spatula in one hand and coffee in the other, I am reminded of home and thankful for the privilege of passing down this tradition of family.

 

 

Recipe: Serves 6

 12 slices of bread

6 eggs

1 cup of milk

½ cup of white sugar

¼ cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of butter

Whisk eggs, milk, sugars, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat and add just a little of the butter. Soak the pieces of bread in the egg mixture, just two at a time. Cook the bread in the skillet just until the bread is crispy on the outsides. Serve immediately.

* I usually make a tester piece of bread, just in case I feel a little more sweet, vanilla-y or cinnamon-y that particular day! It has to meet my standards.