I try to teach my kids about cooking, food, and diet choices, but I have a black thumb. I’ve killed so many plants that, much to my embarrassment, the kids have a knee-jerk reaction when friends give us plants: “Oh, no! She’s going to kill it!” Despite the efforts of both the DH and me, we have only ever succeeded in growing some herbs, and a sad handful of green beans, stunted lettuce, and mutant turnips. To them, growing food is better left to the experts.
So when my neighbor Bella rang the doorbell last week and gave us a bag of pears from her tree, they were skeptical that these pears could be safe to eat, much less tasty. The pears were hard and green, but after a week, they turned yellow-green and ripe. One or two were soft and had bad spots. I needed to do something quick before they all spoiled! I decided to make pear compote to serve over pancakes. I was surprised when even the DH wouldn’t try it, but after I wolfed down my first pancake with compote, the DD relented. After one cautious bite, she slathered on a generous helping on her short stack. The table was quiet except for the sounds of chewing and the two of us saying, “Mmmm!” Finally the DH and DS caved, and the pear compote disappeared.
Sure hope Bella will have a bumper crop of pears!
Recipe: Pear compote
Makes about 2 cups
- 3 cups pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 1 pound)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 generous tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
Put all the ingredients except the brandy into a 1-quart saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, uncovered. Turn the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the pears are soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy if using. Serve warm.