I set myself up for this. I know I did. A year or so ago, I purchased a pyramid-shaped fruit holder, thinking that I liked the idea of decorating with fruit, it would be cool in my newly renovated kitchen, and D would love to unpack the fruit onto the stand. All of this proved to be true, but I did not predict the regularity with which I discovered all my lovely fruit to have single bites taken out of every single piece. It's inevitable when the fruit is out on the counter, just begging to be tampered with.
I hadn't used the holder for a while because I had been discouraged by D's aforementioned treatment of the fruit (taking bites out of all of them and putting them back). But it had been a while, and I had some pears that needed ripening, so I plunked them on the holder, and promptly forgot about them.
Enter not-so-baby G, who has learned by observing his brother that moving chairs to the counters and climbing on them opens up a whole new world of opportunity. By the time I started paying attention, all the pears had been removed from the holder, one dropped, two revealed that they had started to rot, and the rest of them had single bites taken out of them.
I wondered out loud about the two that had started to turn. D piped up, "That's probably because I dropped them and they bruised." Ah, thanks for the info.
I suddenly had a lot of pears that needed peeling and turned into something, with little time to do it. I decided to poach them (a fancy name for stewing, really), using apple juice and adding some of the cranberries (in the freezer) left over from Thanksgiving. The results made a refreshing dessert!
Cranapple Poached Pears
1 child's juice box of 100% unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (you could use dried cranberries as well)
4 or 5 pears, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 whole clove
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Don't worry if the pears aren't covered by liquid. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes, until the pears are soft and the cranberries have burst. Sweeten with honey or a bit of sugar if desired. I didn't sweeten it at all, and while it was a bit tart, we all still enjoyed the flavour.
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