Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pairs of Pared Pears

I'm hoping sometime today or tomorrow to talk my dad into doing a guest-blogging spot for me. I want to do Dueling Book Reviews about a book he recommended to me that I'm just finishing. But I don't know if it's going to work or not. He keeps laughing when I suggest it. Stay tuned... Meanwhile, as I'm slurping my coffee and waiting for Dad, Merle, and Teddy (my step-dog) to wake up, I have to tell you about the dessert I made last night because, Yum! But first, some background. J and I have a pear tree. Actually, we have a pair of pear trees, but one of them is a sad slacker who blooms like crazy in the spring and makes you think she's going to have a bumper crop and then she half-heartedly produces 3 or 4 pears and calls it a wrap. The other tree though obviously has Oldest Child issues and more than makes up for it's sibling. That tree is LOADED with pears, to the point of us needing to put some braces under some of the branches to keep them from breaking. Ok now, here's the thing. Have I mentioned I don't actually like pears all that much? I mean, I don't hate them...they're ok. But on a list of My Favorite Fruits, they'd definitely be hanging out in the low-rent district. It's mostly a texture thing. The flesh is a bit gritty and it always makes me feel like I'm chewing up some nice juicy emery boards. J, on the other hand, LOVES pears. They're one of his favorites. Everyone who knows us both really well should be, at this point, nodding their heads and saying, "well of course he does". You see, they (the great cosmic "They", that is) could have invented the phrase "opposites attract" to describe my honey and me. He's tall. I'm, well, not short, but not tall. He's disgustingly thin. I'm disgustingly not. He's dark, I'm fair. He's a pessimist, I'm an optimist. He's a born engineer, I'm a born artist. (That last one actually works out great, because if I can picture something in my mind, he can figure out how to build it. Or at least to tell me if it can be built.) And when it comes to food, almost invariably if he really loves something I'll hate it, and vice versa. We end up eating a lot of stuff we both think is merely "ok" because it's a middle ground where we can meet. So OF COURSE he loves pears! So here we are with 40-gazillion of the things and he's thrilled and even brings up the word "canning". To which I say "ha!" and suggest an alternate plan of leaving anonymous bags full of pears in the unlocked cars of strangers. We're still talking about this issue, but in the meantime I started trying to think of something to do with them in the short term, and since we have houseguests I went in search of a pear dessert of some kind, preferably cooked. I can handle cooked pears better than raw ones, since they aren't quite so enthusiastically textured. The latest issue of "Taste of Home" magazine had a recipe for Ginger Lime Pear Cobbler. That sounded intriguing, but J and I both strongly prefer crisps over cobblers (somehow They goofed and forgot to make us have opposite opinions on that happens now and then!). So I took the idea and ran with it and made up my own thing. So here is my "recipe", if you want to call it that. I don't really measure things, so "recipe" is perhaps stretching it a bit, but I'll share it anyway, in case anyone wants to try it. Deb's Ginger Lime Pear Crisp For fruit part, you'll need: Pears, several of them One lime A little white sugar (maybe 1/4 cup or so) Ground ginger Peel, core, and thinly slice the pears until you have enough to make a nice thick layer in the bottom of a greased oblong baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, some ginger (I'm guessing I used about a teaspoon, but I really have no idea...I added it until it smelled right to me), and the zest from the lime. Stir, then add the juice from the lime. Stir again and then pour all that over your fruit and mix it around a little. Then make your topping. For the topping, you'll need: 1 cup brown sugar, more or less about 1/4 cup flour about 3/4 cup quick cooking oats a dash of ginger a dash of cinnamon a stick of butter, melted (Not margarine, people! If you're going to eat something this bad for you, go all the way and use the good stuff!) In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, oats, ginger, and cinnamon until blended, then pour the butter over it and mix it all together and then spread it over the pears. Bake the whole thing at 350 F for about 45 minutes, until the pears have softened up and the top is Toasty Tan. I like to serve it while it's still warm, with a small scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream on top, but you do what you want. Your dessert, your rules. It's also good for breakfast the next day because, hey....oats, fruit, what could be healthier? Ahem. Ok, everyone is up and around now, time to go be a Good Hostess Twinkie.