Today is my oldest son’s 6th birthday. It’s amazing how fast time seems to fly by when you’re trying to do everything the “correct” way; at the very least the way it plays out in your head, and you humbly realize that life is a learning game and the rules change daily. Today my son had the most delicious strawberry cupcakes I have ever tasted from Swirls cupcakery in East Aurora, which tries to source locally and you can definitely taste the difference. Thankfully he was so worn out from his long day of being newly 6 and all the responsibilities that that entails, that the sugar rush at the end of the day didn’t keep him up past bedtime. This time of year, dessert usually consists of some kind of applesauce or something involving squash. Easy to digest and doesn’t have me playing musical beds all night from the sugar crash. A few nights ago I decided to branch out from apples and look to in-season pears for a sweet dessert the kids won’t think of as a trick to having a dessert sans Oreos. I thought I would be fancy and serve poached pears. I love the way they look with the stems still intact and it seems there are 1000 ways to serve them. How hard can it be right? Actually, not hard at all: I stuck the pears in water with some lemon, balsamic vinegar and a little maple syrup and boiled.
Voila! Not long later I had poached pears. It wasn’t until then that I decided to consult my Nigel Slater cookbook Ripe for a recipe. It was there that I discovered that the correct way to poach a pear is to first remove the skin. Yes, the stems are still in place, but the skin is usually the first thing to go. With a little more research I discovered that a wealth of fiber and nutrients are found in the skin–so of course that’s why I left it on! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I drizzled the pears with reduced balsamic vinegar and some freshly whipped cream and cinnamon and my kids asked for seconds: skin and all!