Monday, November 26, 2012

Thoughts on Autumn

I love Autumn. I love it from the first day of Autumn in September, until the last day in late December. I love Halloween. I love Thanksgiving. I love Advent, with its special celebrations like Santa Lucia Day. What's not to love. The cool mornings, the late harvest fruit. I love how the Nouveau Beaujolais always come just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Let me say it again - I love Autumn!
 I read on so many blogs how some people say they want to have simpler Christmases and they don't how they are going to cope with all that "has to get done" by Christmas. And they I read on how they are already feeling "behind" because they don't have everything ready. Seriously? Do they know that it is still November and Christmas is almost a month away? If they are really serious about cutting back, they might start with celebrating each season as it comes along. Try observing Advent this year. If you use this important season to prepare yourself for the birth of Christ, I promise you will enjoy the real Christmas season more than you ever have. If you aren't familiar with the traditional ecclesiastical seasons, this site: Advent, might be interesting to you.
This year I had both my daughters and my son-in-law with me for dinner. We had a delicious turkey that I bough at Whole Foods. It has to be the best turkey I've ever roasted. It was so clean and well prepared, having no residual yucky parts left inside, and not one pin feather left for me to pull out with tweezers.
Since I'm the only one who likes pumpkin or mince pie, I opted for Cranberry and Pear Tart, this year. I haven't made that in years, but it is quite seasonal and really delicious. It is a recipe from Jr. High home-ec. Yes, we did have modern stoves back then, not wood-burning.
Well, I've been asked for the recipe by several people who have stopped by since then, so I decided to share it here. I hope you try it, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Cranberry and Pear Pie 
 2 C fresh cranberries
½ Small orange
3 and 1 small ripe pears
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1¼ C sugar
¼ Tsp cinnamon or cardamom
2T. Flour
¼ tsp salt
1T. Melted butter
6 walnuts
Crust for one tart

Whirl fruit and rind in a blender. Combine sugar, spice, reserving 1T. Add  flour stirring until smooth. Fill pastry shell. Top with remaining pears, halved and cored. Drizzle each pear with butter and sprinkle with reserved sugar. Decorate with a walnut half on each pear half.
Bake at 400∘ for 45 - 50 Minutes (I suggest you blind bake the shell for 5 minutes before filling to assure a crisp bottom crust)
Cool or chill completely before serving. Great for making ahead.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Autumn solitude

As Autumn continues to paint the trees and decorate the streets here in Oregon, it becomes more beautiful every day. 


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