I spent a few days out at my parents’ place, picking blueberries and blackberries and contemplating the sheep. Sheep are a perfect vehicle for contemplation, since they don’t have a whole lot going on. They drift from one field to another, in search of something succulent. These sheep only run when they see someone approach with kitchen scraps or garden trimmings. They know a good thing when they see it. The llama rarely joins in, preferring to search out potential breaches in the fence, so that he can get into the vegetable garden or the orchard. He knows a better thing when he sees it.
People aren’t that different, sometimes. We cast about for things to satisfy us, occasionally hitting on a course of action that will bring bigger rewards. A steady stream of small pleasures can help reduce the casting about and help keep us focused on the the bigger picture. It’s one of the things that I like about French Fridays – a regular dose of learning, writing, and (above all) good eating. It’s a habit that’s grounding and creative at the same time.
This week’s recipe isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s very satisfying. Apples or pears (or whatever fruit you’d like, really) are poached in a honeyed bath of spices, flecked with vanilla seeds. You could even add a splash of something stronger, if you’d like. It reminds me of a rosewater sauce I like to serve with rice pudding. The leftover poaching liquid in this recipe could easily be reduced in the same way.
The leftovers this time won’t last long enough to do that – there’s too much ripe fruit around. In fact, my parents’ pear trees are overladen with fruit. I might just have to go and pick some very soon.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Spice-Poached Apples or Pears