Thursday, September 16, 2010
Here, at the Mayhew-Bergman homestead, we have an abundance of animals. We have an abundance of tomatoes, basil, kale, oregano, and carrots. Thanks to the houselions, we also have an abundance of dead mice in the driveway.
Our friend has an overabundance of pears - her pear tree is on overdrive. Our pear tree produced 1 edible fruit this season - which we sliced and ate with much pomp and circumstance over breakfast last weekend. But yesterday, thanks to our friend, we had a plastic bag full of ripe pears.
Pears go fast, and nothing breaks Bergman hearts like wasted food. So despite projects, deadlines, animals, toddler needs and jobs out the proverbial wazoo, I decided on one way to use up a giant bag of pears all in one go: Pear Crisp. (*I added ginger.)
All I needed to do: chop the pears before it was time to pick up Fray.
But the pears refused to go down easily! They were gnarled and knotted and their cores were of uneven sizes. Their feminine bodies were difficult to peel. What was supposed to be a flippant task turned into a time-consuming physical challenge.
Other busy people who cook know the gig - prep something while you can, cram it into the fridge, run an errand, then finish it up while holding your toddler, feeding the dogs, shooing the cats from the counter, wiping your toddler's nose...and conducting a tractor survey.
Yes, folks, the UVM tractor survey got me AGAIN last night.
Me: I don't want to be rude, but I think I've already taken this survey, and I still don't know much about tractors.
Surveyor: We call three times.
Me: ?!@#$ (cuts three tablespoons of cold butter with one hand, toddler on hip, phone in neck)
Surveyor: It will only take two minutes. Have you seen an advertisement for retro-fitting your tractor with a safety roll bar in the last six months?
Me: Let me think - no. (wonders if she would ever notice such an advertisement.)
Surveyor: How many acres do you farm?
Me: We don't really farm. We have two gardens and a small orchard. (throws oats and walnuts into the topping mix)
Surveyor: I'll put you down for a coupla acres.
Surveyor: How much do you agree or disagree with this statement: I have the authority to retrofit my tractor with a safety roll bar.
Me: Ma'am, I don't even drive the tractor. (wipes toddler's nose and wonders where the tractor even is this time of year)
Surveyor: Strongly disagree, then. Would retrofitting your tractor be a cost-effective option for you?
Me: Strongly disagree. (thinks about all the other things she wants other than a tractor roll bar. Like a 1967 Morris Minor Traveller Woody Wagon.)
Surveyor: Do you understand the repercussions of not retrofitting your tractor with a safety roll bar?
Me: Again - I don't even drive it, but yeah. (thinks to self: I don't ever want to drive a tractor without a roll bar.) Agree?
Surveyor: You've been a big help.
Me: Okay. Talk to you in a few weeks!
Forty minutes later, the pear crisp emerged from the oven, and in less than 24 hours, the leftovers were gone - not a pear wasted.