Monday, May 12, 2008

Pears

pears communing with rocks and birdseed
Mick is always bringing back interesting chunks of nature from hiking in the woods around our house. One time, he brought home a tiny, perfect little pear from a tree in an abandoned homestead. He formed some clay around it, cut it in half, and bisque fired it.
At night, after dinner, he sits in the kitchen and makes little press molded pears from the mold.
Sometimes, he puts a little ball of clay inside.
the press mold
In the morning, I find a row of pears sitting on the counter.
I cozy up in the inglenook and burnish them with a stone.
They are thick and heavy and feel wonderful to hold.
They accumulated on our windowsill, awaiting a decision on how to glaze them.
A designer friend dropped by, pounced, and bought all of them on the spot.
Aha! No glaze necessary! Problem solved.

She wanted to call them 'therapy pears' because they are so soothing and calming to hold.

Another friend dubbed them 'grounding pears'. We liked that name and promptly stole it. She sometimes uses the pears in her workshops. (*Visit her great website called stress happiness which is about the art and science of mind and body and spirit and stress and happiness and creativity and more...)
This is the text of the card that goes with them:
Hold this little pear in your hand, close your eyes, and remind yourself of the calm centered place at the core of your being. Feel the smooth surface, the heavy weight, and relax completely. Swirling the little ball hidden inside will help release your tension and focus your concentration. The more you handle the pear, the more ki* it will develop. The unglazed surface will develop a patina specific to you over time. You can paint it, dye it, wax it, or steep it in tea if you like, to make it more your own. Whether you use it during your daily meditation or simply put in a special place, we hope our ‘Grounding Pear’ will help connect you to your true nature. (*spiritual energy)
pears sunning themselves outside the studio
These beautiful glass pears are by Antony Biancaniello.

Here is a recipe from a Cook's Illustrated article on Italian fruit desserts sounds to easy to be good, but it is our favorite way to eat fresh pears. Unless you count crepes. Very simple and elegant.

Pears with Mascarpone
3/4 lb. Mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese, but I feel like putting a little sad face here if that's all you can get)
1/4 c. hazelnut liqueur (I keep a bottle just for this dessert, great stuff)
1 lemon
2 qts. water
3 tsp. mint, fresh, minced
4 pears, whatever the local farmer's market has, or Anjou, or Bartlett (but not canned, yeetch)
8 walnut halves
4 sprigs mint, fresh

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the 2 quarts of water and add the two lemon halves to the water also. Peel, halve, and core the pears and place them into the lemon water and refrigerate.

In a mixing bowl, beat the Mascarpone cheese, hazelnut liqueur, and minced mint together until smooth. When ready to serve dessert, drain the lemon water from the pears and arrange the pears on individual dessert plates. Top each pear half with 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Garnish with 2 walnut halves each and a sprig of fresh mint. Serves: 4.

Pear sculpture (corten steel) by George Baldessin near Australian National Gallery in Canberra, Australia.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for commenting on my blog! I just wanted to come visit and say hello.

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  2. I love the pears! What an inspired idea.

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  3. Ok sweet Barb, these pears are delightful! I love them and could use a "grounding pear" right about now...oh and I need to add that you better make room because I am moving into that sweet home of yours. It makes me want to pack up my stuff and move out into the forest. Such loveliness all around!

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  4. Oh my gosh, I adore the pears. I'd love to see them glazed as well--and I bet they're therapeutic to hold.

    Also, I'm going to forward the post below to a friend who's determined to have an urban chicken coop.

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  5. hrsj- thanks for the visit, everyone else; go see her work! It's amazing

    dale- I thought you would like these!

    oh, mrs. french, you must realize that the photos of my house have been styled. It's usually so cluttered you cannot even see any loveliness!

    ambika- yay for urban chickens! (even though mine are rural). I might glaze some eventually. It's hard to get past the fact that they would then have a little bald spot on the bottom though.

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  6. I meant glaze the pears! Not the chicks!

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  7. What lovely organic pears! And, thanks (I think) for the recipe.

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  8. Wow - these are wonderful! Just discovered your blog and glad I did!

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