Welcome! Today on the blog you will find:
FEATURE RECIPE: Poached Pears in Citrus Sauce
More adventures in grocery shopping and the world of unnecessary plastic
Home made delights
Food Waste Friday
FEATURE RECIPE: POACHED PEARS IN CITRUS SAUCE
moaning writing about the rock hard Corella pears I had bought which never ripened I pondered what to do with them. At first I wondered if maybe I had made a fool of myself ( which never happens) and these pears are intended for cooking, not eating. Look at me being all cranky about the fact they never got ripe.
By the way Corella ( aka Forelle) Pears are Australian and incidentally are named after a parrot. Australia has some amazing birds and the parrots are glorious.
Once I established that the pears can indeed be eaten if ripe I gave up waiting for this miracle. I began to see these pears as a gift. Honestly they have driven me to a new level of thinking about food and how it is offered to the public whether it be via the over packaging of fruit and veggies or through the product not being ready for consumption but put on the shelf anyway.
I turned my attention to thinking about what to do with these pears because throwing them out was simply not an option. It had been suggested to me that poaching them might be one way to prepare them. After experimenting with a few ideas I came up with an amazing poached pear recipe using citrus ( blood oranges and navels) to make a sweet sauce to poach them in. The citrus sauce really helped me to love those pears more than ever and I cried a little inside when I realised in the end I only had two pears! Why did I not buy more rock hard pears?
This dessert is so easy and very inexpensive to make. Love that!
This recipe would actually be enough to poach 4 or 5 pears and I used my wok ( deep but not too deep with a well fitted see through lid) to poach them in. I used the left over sauce on vanilla ice cream. Then I died and went to sugar rush heaven.
- Juice of 2 oranges ( I had a blood orange so used this and a navel orange)
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-5 pears whole, peeled with the stems left on.
- Put the orange juice, water, sugar, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick in pan that can be covered with a lid.
- Allow this to simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
- Place the pears upright in the liquid and spoon a little of the liquid over the pears until they are covered in a layer of sauce.
- Simmer the pears in the sauce gently basting every 5 or so minutes so the sauce seeps into the pears.
- Pierce one of the pears after 10 minutes to to check for tenderness.
- Continue basting and checking until the pears are easily pierced but the flesh of the pear is not falling off. This will be about 20 minutes.
- When ready turn off the pan, baste one last time and serve as a stand alone dessert or with your choice of creamy goodness ( i.e ice cream).
This dish has been offered up at both the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.
CONTINUED ADVENTURES IN PLASTIC AND PRODUCE
As a fairly new blogger I have to say I am really enjoying connecting with like minded souls who stir my imagination and inspire me to live a conscious life. This week I contemplated many of the comments and emails I received especially regarding waste and shampoo less living.
Jo from Down to Earth Mother mentioned that what she really disliked was cereal box inserts. You know the “stay fresh packs” which have no real use for anything once they are discarded? The answer would be to never have cereal which is easy to make but for some this is not likely. Fast, convenient, (can be) cheap and full off hollow sugary calories, what is not to love?
Being accountable to writing a couple of posts a week has my head swimming with ideas and thoughts about waste and consumerism and ( always) vegan living. After all waste, plastic and garbage contribute in significant ways when it comes to animal harm.
Anyone who has seen personally, read about or watched online footage of wildlife with their heads caught in cans and bottles or with plastic can holders around their necks knows how important it is for vegans to be vigilant when it comes to waste. Plastic bags take a huge toll on wildlife.
TO THE SHOPS I GO
This week I shopped naked for the most part. I have decided that I am going to go to the independent fruit and vegetable store which carries bulk of many things for now until we have a garden happening. There is a monthly Farmers Market which I attend, a small slice of sustainable heaven in our little back woods. These are my go to for less plastic with my produce.
The independent grocer is not fool proof as I still see a great deal of plastic and unnecessary wrapping in the shop but it is a marked improvement on the chain supermarkets as you can see if you read on.
I WANT LESS PLASTIC IN MY PRODUCE
This week I went off to the supermarket to take a look at how the produce is presented. I felt like an undercover reporter with my camera at the ready scouting out offending, over packaged items. Not the clearest pictures under artificial light but they make the point. There was plenty of over packaging and funny looks from fellow shoppers to be had. Why is she taking pictures of herbs and bananas?
There was so much plastic everywhere and it was used to package produce that could be easily left unwrapped. I am sure the justification for packaging and sleeves and styrofoam and boxes is freshness, especially when it is being trucked in from far away lands. I figured that cool storage would be a great way to keep produce fresh, ice and water mist and refrigeration.
I can recall when I was a girl I would go mushroom picking with my Dad. This is an experience I am sure many kids do not get any more, especially when their mushrooms are presented this way. What do you do with the plastic trays once the mushrooms are used?
The blatant advertising to children via fruit is troublesome. I know that the bags covering the oranges can be used as scouring pads and other nifty things.
Advertising to children, playing on parents emotions who love their children and want to provide what they want. Parents know fruit is good for their children and marketers know that parents want to please their kids and offer healthy choices. They are even called “kids packs”.
GETTING BACK TO BASICS
With this mindset of avoiding plastic and packaging I have also started to make more of my own items at home. I am thinking about reuses for things and being curious about home made cleaners and food which can be prepared instead of bought. This is a really well presented piece on the 5 R`s of refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and repair.
I have a dehydrator I am learning to use. I dehydrated some tomatoes and then put them in oil and herbs. I was buying sundried tomatoes but never liked the additives with them and they cost the big bucks.
This jar of lemon cleaner has been sitting for almost 2 weeks. I wrote about making orange peel cleaner in the past. Previously I was not enamoured with this cleaner but over time we have fallen in love. I use it on tiles and for disinfecting surfaces, toilets and so on. In conjunction with essential oils ( peppermint, tea tree, rosemary and eucalyptus) and baking soda this cleaner is for me. Clean a jar with a lid, stuff it full of citrus peel and add big sprigs of fresh rosemary. Fill the jar to the top with white vinegar. Leave to sit for 2 weeks or more. When ready strain the vinegar liquid into a spray bottle.
I want to be a forager, I really, really do. I see wild herbs and flowers and I want to respectfully pick them and use them for teas and medicinal purposes. This is a start. There are dandelions here and there and I happen to know that they all parts are extremely healthful and healing. I picked the dandelions including the root. Cut the root and trimmed the little extra bits. I then let the root dry for about a week, ground it in a coffee grinder and there you have it. Brew it like coffee, add the root to water to make tea. It is a little bitter but quite tasty.
We have started collecting used tea bags and coffee grounds for the garden as a natural insect repellent and for the nutritive value. I have decided not to show an image of that soggy mess.
On we go with waste, specifically food waste. Nothing much in this fridge let alone waste. 2 lemons and an apple and a bag of dandelion leaves, all useful for juicing. There are some pizza shells and corn tortillas and some vegan margarine I bought in bulk on special. Top shelf is condiments and other not so perishables.
Fine, fine week on the waste front which is evident in the picture!
Thanks for stopping by. May anything I have mentioned here stir your imagination about ways to make differences in the world we live.
Keep shining, see you Tuesday!
Feel free to comment, I love to hear from you!
All photos are taken by the author.
This post has joined in the fun at Wildcrafting Wednesday.