(A version of this post previously appeared on the Fiddleheads Facebook page. So if you've read this already - feel free to move on and peruse other pages on this site.)
Last Friday I came into the co-op and saw, in the produce section, the signs that the seasons are shifting (far more reliable than our weather patterns at the moment): brussel sprouts, hard red kuri squash, etc. It was the RED STARKRIMSON PEARS that stopped me in my tracks; my favorite variety, and the first batch of the season at the co-op. The brain (mine, at any rate) must have an adaptive mechanism that allows me to forget about them, for months, so that when they reappear I am delighted and surprised all over again.
I bought 5 or so, selecting carefully (money is tight, after all), looking for relatively unblemished ones; ghosting my fingertips over their skins and choosing the ones that yielded ever-so-slightly. They ripened further for a couple of days on my kitchen table, while I wondered and worried: would they disappoint this time? They never have before, but one never knows.
Of course my concerns were foolish and unfounded; of course that first one was crisp (but not too) and sweet (but not overly-so). Of course the texture was finer and smoother than that of a traditional pear, or the ones I grew up with at any rate; somewhat closer to an apple. Of course, it was what I remembered and what I knew it could be.
And of course I'm being silly about it, indulging in hyperbole, but when I feel as though living is somewhat like wading through a mound of mud and rubble, then the few small gems that fall into my hands are all the more dear. And so I magnify the importance of a pear, of all things, far beyond what someone (saner and more sensible than myself) would do.
I ate the last one this morning - saving it carefully, for a day or two, until I knew I'd be coming back to the co-op - and it had been patient, had waited for me, ripened even further in the warmth of my kitchen, and so the flesh yielded easily, even sweeter than before, juice dribbling down my wrist, the texture closer to that of "pear" than apple now, but still very fine, closer to the softest beach sand than the graininess of other pear varieties at their ripest.
The things I love most never stay for long; and I know from past experience that the red starkrimson pears will be here for a matter of weeks, perhaps (will I go to the co-op today and find they have already gone?) and so I must take care to to savor and enjoy them, for however long they are here.
/recipe-archive.htmlPrintable pdf files of the recipes on this blog can be found on our Recipe Archive Page.
Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.