How do we measure the seasons? What seasons are we measuring…that of the table we lay out for people we love; the moments of our lives or, those significant passages that is part of the collective consciousness?
Yesterday witnessed the anniversary of an episode that is seared into many of our memories. The pure brilliance of the morning sky on that warm late-summer day and my routine of taking an early yoga class thwarted by a phone call from overseas asking me what is happening seems will never fade from a vivid recall. I remember the relationship that got started in part due to the events of that day eight years ago that was more about needing to feel safe than feeling in love. The relationship might have failed the needs of that time has not.
The farmer’s market was a vital source of grounding for me that week reassuring in its continued offering of life. The work of assembling meals for the many hard working rescue respondents allowed me to cope on a societal level it was the small, human purchases that fed my temporary partner and I that confirmed we were still here. The Saturday after the events of the 11th I hosted a group of friends and friends of friends at my home were we put up peach butter; pickled cucumbers and beets all taking home small jars of security during a rather insecure week.
Time moves on; people fade in and out of our lives, memories remain but its daily potency diminishes. This past week will most likely be forgotten it was just another post-Labor Day work week when the weather took a sharp turn from the 80-degree warmth of that dominated that almost decade ago day into the rush of an autumnal chill. Will I remember that peaches were pushed out of my shopping cart and replaced with pears a tad earlier than usual? It is doubtful as noteworthy as it might be today; this shift in time is a gentler non-scarring moment of a season. I continue to remember and embrace the fragility we all faced, and the preciousness that is a loved one’s smile; the seductive call of a peach, and the deep comfort of knowing community.
Caramelized Seckle Pears – yields 6 servings
6 seckle pears
1 lemon – cut in half
1/4-cup brown sugar
1-tablespoon roughly chopping pine nuts
2-teasoons chopped tarragon leaves
1/8-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4-pound Manchego cheese - sliced
Cut the pears in half from the stem to its base. With the tip of the paring knife or a small melon baller remove the seed core. Rub the halved pears with the cut lemon.
In a small work bowl mix together the sugar, pine nuts, tarragon and pepper. Divide the sugar mixture among the pear halves, and place the pears onto a baking tray.
Place the pears under the boiler, and cook until the sugar melts. Serve the pears warm bedded on the sliced cheese.