Author: janet


turkey chute

There are so many ways to feel about Thanksgiving.  Possibly as many ways to feel about it as there are obstacles to seeing it any other way than your own.  I love it fiercely.  I can’t imagine not loving it fiercely, though I know there are people who loathe and detest it, and have their own good reasons to do so.  Love it or hate it, it’s a complex occasion with plenty of up-to-the-minute, trending-now, blow-out-your-flipflop emotional side roads, and that’s even before we get into its cultural and historical roots. Thanksgiving isn’t simple. All the complexities can’t disguise a simple truth about it for me: I love to be with people I love, eating things that are some of my favorite things, on a holiday that is built around gratitude and does not involve presents or churches.  Amid all the noise, I love that.  I have had Thanksgivings that were truly awful, or hilarious, or very far from home, or all of the above, and through those glimpsed the myriad ways that people make …

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chocolate pear jam, from a raisin and a porpoise

pear of aces

I have a new piece up over here, if you are of a mind to read it. Meanwhile, our cavalcade of apples continues unabated.  “I have never in my life seen so many apples,” said my sister, who has seen a lot of apples. Mind you I am not complaining about the apples, though I am a little tired. Are you making lots of pies? ask innocent persons who don’t deserve a black eye.  Pies. Indeed.  WHO HAS TIME TO MAKE A PIE? Sometimes there is a dessert emergency when I am making applesauce or apple chutney or dried apples or apple juice or something else made of apples, and then I whip a pan of baked apples through the production line. Those are tasty.  I toss them with butter or olive oil, or a combination, and some sugar, or coconut sugar, or maple syrup, and maybe some hot pepper or lemon zest or something like that which is sitting still near to hand, and then I roast the little dears.  They are heaven with …

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germ war pear

Let us talk, once again, of apples. Let us talk of nothing else, in fact, unless we are talking about pears. And then, when we are resting or perhaps slightly delirious, let us speak of what happens when it seems that apples have met pears, and been careless, producing a hybrid. One of the fruits that has gone into hyperdrive in the orchard that we are lucky to border on is the Asian Pear, which is also known (for reasons that are obvious enough when you eat one but seem to have no scientific basis) as the ‘apple pear’.  When my children were tots and prone to malaprops, one of them garbled the name into ‘angel apples,’ which is how we referred to them for a while. Apples in fact are blameless for these items, which are just a hybrid of some other kinds of very fecund pears that know no limits. For quite a while it was my belief that the only thing one of these was good for was eating out of hand, …

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