Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Asian Pears with Vanilla-Poached Kumquats (Page 810)

RECIPE #1059

  • Date: Saturday, November 28, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Westerville, OH
  • Kitchen: Karen and Dave's House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Dave, Karen H, Brad, and Deniz
  • Recipe Rating: C+

Kumquats are in season and I saw some in the grocery store when we were in Ohio, so I immediately thought to make this dessert! I started by peeling, coring, and slicing some Asian pears. Then I boiled a mixture of water, lime juice, the seeds from a half a vanilla bean, the vanilla pod, sugar, and a pinch of salt. I added sliced, seeded, kumquats, reduced to a simmer, and simmered until the kumquats were softened. I put the pear slices in a bowl and poured the hot syrup over them. I then chilled the mixture for several hours. This dessert was disappointing at best. I like Asian pears. I like kumquats. I especially like vanilla. But somehow the three together didn't work so well. For one thing, the combination of raw pears with cooked kumquats was very odd. The flavor of the pears was quite mild so it was overshadowed by the incredible bursts of citrus flavor from the kumquats. In my opinion the vanilla just didn't work with it. The dish wasn't bad exactly, but the flavors didn't come together to form something coherent. We ate it all, but no one had anything nice to say about it! Definitely not a recipe I would make again.

The recipe is here.

My special gentleman is on leave this coming semester so that he can attend a special program in his research area at a math institute in Berkeley, California. This means that he will be living in Berkeley from January through May. I am not on leave from my job in Indiana, but I am not teaching this coming semester (since I taught my full load for the year this fall), so I will be visiting him in California often. This means neither of us will be in Michigan. Originally I had planned to come up to Michigan every couple weeks to check on the house and have our neighbors keep an eye on it the rest of the time. The idea of the house sitting empty through a Michigan winter was making me really nervous though. Also, I wasn't too sure I wanted to be driving back and forth from Bloomington to East Lansing for another semester! Lucky for us, some friends of ours in East Lansing agreed to live in our house next semester (Thank you Corbett and Mary!). So the house won't be empty, and we won't have to worry about the furnace shutting off and the pipes freezing, or anything like that! Yay! It also means, though, that when we leave Michigan on Monday we probably won't be back to the house until June. It's silly to be sad about that, of course, but in a way I am. I love it here! I am, right now, sitting on the sofa in front of the fireplace, enjoying a roaring fire on this winter night. I'll miss that! Of course, I love being in Bloomington, and Northern California is one of my favorite places. So I am sure next semester will be awesome! But by June I anticipate I will be eager to come home to Michigan! It will be warmer then, but perhaps I will still sit start a fire in the fireplace and sit in this very spot, enjoying a lovely Michigan evening!

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