Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Too Many Pears

Pears can just fuck off too. 'Cause they're gorgeous little beasts, but they're ripe for half an hour, and you're never there. They're like a rock or they're mush. In the supermarket, people banging in nails. "I'll just put these shelves up, mate, then you can have the pear."

So you think, "I'll take them home and they'll ripen up." But you put them in the bowl at home, and they sit there, going, "No! No! Don't ripen yet, don't ripen yet. Wait 'til he goes out the room! Ripen! Now, now, now!"

—Eddie Izzard

We have too many pears. Way too many pears. Way, way too many pears.

This is a consistent problem with growing your own fruit. You don't have any pears/apples/plums/etc. for something like 80% of the year. So everything in the kitchen is quiet. Peaceful, even. But then all of a sudden, they attack. The first 20 plums are welcome. The next 20 tolerated. The next 300? They take over your kitchen counters, then your kitchen cabinets, then they're hiding in the oven when it's off and next thing you know they're in your living room and your dining room too. You wake up in the morning, only to find that plums are nestled in the warm covers. Plums in your jean pockets. Plums lurking behind a bottle of shampoo. You're making plum jam and plum pie and plum crisp but they just keep coming. It's invasion.

What makes this worse with pears is that I hated not only the 458th pear, but the first. Pears have an unpleasant taste and a worse texture. They're one of the few fruits I dislike. So when they pears start coming, I curl up in a corner and start rocking back and forth.

In a desperate-last-ditch attempt to make the pears go away, I found myself making pear cake. It was my first experiment with using SuperCook, a website that shows you available recipes based on what you have in the kitchen. I chose pear cake with lemon-honey cream cheese frosting, for no reason other than that it used up some of the lemons we have as well. To say I was not enthused would be an understatement.

And yet! Low and behold... the finished cake was fantastic. Everybody liked it, and it hardly tasted like pears at all. It was almost like a carrot cake - delicious because it tasted like carrot cake, but interesting because it only almost tasted like carrot cake. It was definitely something I'd make again, and a pleasant surprise.

But that having been said, we may still have to hold the first annual pear-lobbing contest: she who throws the pear farthest (on the condition that it lands in one of the neighbors' yards) gets to take home a great big bag of pears. Applications being accepted through the end of pear season.

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