poached pears in red wine • to the simple things in life

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The simple things in life…Don’t ever take them for granted.

It’s the simple things in life that bring true joy and serenity to one’s journey through this tangled world that we live in.

1. family dinners 2. a strong hug 3. laughing with a friend (or laughing period) 4. cooking with mom 5. cuddling  6. a walk through the food market 7. burying your feet under the warm beach sand 8. the splendid hues of reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and browns on every autumn tree 9. dunking a nice warm cookie in a cold glass of milk 10. poached pears….

The list could go on and on. What simple things in life brings you happiness?

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Look around. Some times turmoil inevitably comes our way and it leaves us feeling defenseless. In the meantime though, I invite you to cherish the simple things in life and to never underestimate them. They are a gift of life and we shouldn’t lose sight of them.

These poached pears speak to that thought. In my eyes, they are an emblem of simplicity.

Cheers! To the simple things in life!

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Research Question: Will the poached pears..Actually I can’t think of an applied research question for this entry. I know poached pears are simple. I know they are good. Nothing to research or experiment here, so N/A.

Hypothesis: N/A

Materials/Ingredients:

scale

32 oz liquid (16 red wine, 16 oz water)

16 oz sugar

5-6 pears (such as boch, seckel, forelle, or other types that work well for poaching)

2 cinnamon sticks

3 cloves

4 whole peppercorns

(vanilla ice cream)

** Store pears in syrup for a minimum of 2-3 weeks in the fridge **

Procedure/Recipe:

1. Combine the red wine, water, and sugar in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring liquid/sugar mixture to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Stir mixture. (Note: the ratio for light syrup is 2 (water) : 1 (sugar). However, water can be replaced by wine. In this recipe I used 32 oz liquid : 16 oz sugar. Instead of making the entire amount of liquid be water or wine, I split the amount of liquid into equal parts water and wine).

2. Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns to the liquid/sugar mixture and bring it down to a low heat.

3. Meanwhile, take the pears…

4. Peel pears with a paring knife from top to bottom.

5. Cut pears in half.

6. Scoop out centers to remove seeds and tough fibers.

7. Trim any remaining fibers and stems. Pears should look bare naked!

8. Add halved pears to light syrup while it continues to heat. Cover pot with a lid.

9. Allow pears to poach anywhere from 25 minutes to 1 hour at low-medium heat (depending on their ripeness level), so that they are tender and show no signs of resistance when you poke or cut into them. Flip pears over at least once midway poaching to acquire a more even poaching all around.

10. Serve them with light syrup.

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Did I hear someone say “vanilla ice cream”? That can work as well.

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Observations:

– Sipping a tiny bit of the wine that you will use for this recipe while working on this recipe is a totally simple thing to do that brings happiness, but in moderation please..I don’t want you to cut yourself when working on those pears.

– Listening to music that relaxes you while peeling, cutting, and scooping…same thing.

– The combination of water and wine was a nice way to break up the liquid proportion. The light syrup was sweet and clean and the taste of wine was just right and not too strong. Adding cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns brought the right amount of spice flavor which complimented the sweetness of the pears and of the light syrup.

– The pears were extra sweet and tender! When poaching takes place, the water content in the fruit becomes exchanged for sugar content.  Therefore, I prefer eating them just on their own and without vanilla ice cream. But that’s just me.

-Oh, I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times before and by now it’s somewhat engraved into your brain, but just incase you haven’t heard it yet, I’ll mention it to you very discretely: When cooking, be sure to only use a wine that’s nice enough to drink. For this recipe, I used a nice and inexpensive pinot noir. Nice and inexpensive- what an oxymoron. But yes, that’s possible with wine.

Results/Conclusion: These lovely seasonal poached pears are a symbol of simplicity. Simple is good. Simple is joy. Simple!

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