I’m the first to admit that there are some things I am and some things I am not. If you are reading this, you already know that I am not a baker. Which doesn’t mean I don’t like baking. Au contraire. I love baking. It’s just, as I have explained over many pages, that I don’t really know much about baking. Because of that, I simply take the authors of all those recipes I use at their word. I trust they know what, when and how stuff goes together and, with only a few exceptions, they have been mostly right. For this I am quite grateful as it lets me do pretty well what I don’t really know how to do at all.
Here’s the thing. I may have mentioned this once or twice before in my other blog (yes blatant self-promotion. So sue me!) here I go again. I am also not a gardener. But unlike baking, I actually don’t really like gardening at all. And while, as an adult, I am willing to take some responsibility for my lack of interest and capabilities for this endeavour, I feel that some blame lies with my upbringing. You see, I grew up in the middle of the big city where the only plants that were planted, grass that was cut and trees that were pruned, was done by a small army of men (yes, I am that old) who drove up in their trucks once a week to descend upon a dozen or so unkempt lawns and flower beds and return them to their well manicured, not to mention rather uniform, splendour. There was no borrowing the neighbours lawn mower or pruning shears as there was nary a garage that housed any of those implements of destruction. Which is exactly what they would have become in the hands of us and those around us. Geraniums, petunias and cedars summed up the extent of my rather limited knowledge of the local flora. No admonitions here. Or judgements. Just telling it like it was for me. Enough said. I figure I’m somewhat absolved.
You can imagine then, it was with some wonder that one morning I watched my Dad come home carrying what appeared to be a rather large twig in a bucket. Intrigued, I followed him to the backyard where, after some careful consideration, he very methodically cleared a spot among the cedars and began to dig a hole, presumably to house the twig. To make a long story short, as I am sure you will appreciate, it turns out that, for whatever reason, my Dad had decided that what we needed in our backyard was a pear tree, so he planted one. A pear tree. I hate to admit this but, up until that very moment we all assumed that pears came from the grocers in little cardboard containers. Somehow (and I attribute this again to growing up in the big city) we never really made a connection between the fruit and the fruit’s origins. The fact that there might be orchards full of trees bearing pears seemed to have escaped us. Again, not judging or wanting to be judged. But here we were now with a pear tree right in our own backyard. Which was kind of nice.
It took a few years but eventually our little twig grew up to be quite a formidable size. Each year, as we watched our tree get bigger and taller, we were overcome with anticipation as we thought this might be the one. The year that one of those little white flowers would produce a piece of fruit. Alas, for many, many years it was not to be. Until one year when it was. A little white flower magically turned into a pear. Granted, there was only one, but each year after that the tree came through for us until we found ourselves asking people to come and relieve us of the fruits of our labours. Well my Dad’s labours really.
Fast forward 50 years or thereabouts. When we moved into our new home on this Island of ours where unlike me, everyone is a gardener, we felt compelled to add a pear tree to our yard. For old times sake. And for my Dad. Little did I know that in order for one tree to bear fruit you need to plant two, which although doesn’t really explain how pears ever appeared on our little tree in the big city could possibly explain why it took so long to do so. Never one to question the experts (hence the recipe thing), we of course have two lovely pear trees in our yard. While it has taken some time, there might not be a partridge in our pear trees but this year there sure are a whole lot of pears. Which brings me to what I wanted to write about today. Pear recipes. Because for the past few weeks I have had no choice but to focus all my baking efforts on using up the abundance of pears our lovely little trees have provided. So if like me, you are not a baker or a gardener, or even if you are, and you too have a circumstance that has resulted in an overabundance of pears, you might want to try one or more of these.
Recipe: Prep time: None given. Smart. I wouldn’t have come anywhere close.
Me: 47 minutes. That’s not so bad.
Favourite thing about this recipe: Chocolate. Did I really need to answer that question?
Least favourite thing about this recipe: Licking the grated chocolate off my fingers. Just kidding!
What I learned: Whether you call this a cake or a loaf (I’d call it a loaf) pears with chocolate are delish!