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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kitchen Garden and a Recipe for Pear Crisp

Image - Google Images
I hosted my sister's baby shower this past weekend. What a fun, busy weekend. I am so glad I had the opportunity to host the shower and join friends and family in welcoming the new baby. There was fun, food and laughter - lots of it.
               As I sit here on the couch in my cozy living room that is lit up only by the string lights we have decorated it with for Fall, I have a deep sense of joy and satisfaction that warms me up. It almost makes me forget my swollen, achy feet (cooking marathon and hardwood floors).
               One of the topics that came up during the evening was gardening and having a kitchen garden. A friend mentioned that she had finally given up on hers. After trying various ways to keep the deer, rabbit and birds away, she had finally accepted defeat and just planted Japanese Maple trees in the spot where her kitchen garden used to be. As she told us about her losing battle, I could not help but agree.
          That conversation left me wondering if I would plant vegetables again. I mean, take this past season for instance. I planted my kitchen garden, handed the watering and care to my husband and left on vacation to India. He did a great job of caring for the plants because they were grown plants by the time I got back and no longer the little saplings I had left them as.
          But I was alarmed to find that tomato plants had overtaken my little vegetable patch. And to think that I hadn't even planted tomatoes! They had grown from the seeds of last year's tomato plants because we had enjoyed a mild winter. My eggplants, peppers, potatoes and every other plant was overshadowed by the tomatoes. And boy, do the rabbits, ants, squirrels and birds love tomatoes!  The net result was that I ended up with some tomatoes, a couple eggplants and few kohlrabi.
            Was it worth the effort? Probably not, if I look at just what I harvested. But that little patch of garden along with my other plants truly give me so much more than just the vegetable, fruit or flower. They offer me comfort, joy, peace and beauty. When I walk into the garden and get my hands dirty in the soil I feel my worries melt away. And seeing them fighting, surviving and thriving despite the bugs, the heat, the critters, the storms or any thing else nature can throw against them fills me with hope that maybe it will all be okay. So for now, the positives for me, outweigh the negatives.
             I am sure it will come to the point where I will no longer have the desire to put in the effort. But until then I will continue to fight the good fight and get out into my garden and give it my best.
I am sharing the pear crisp recipe tonight because, for one it is amazing recipe and for another I am hoping to plant a fruit tree in my garden come next Spring. In my fantasy, my tree will be bursting with fruit and I will be baking pies, and crisps with them and sharing the fruits with all my neighbors and they will all love me. But in reality, I will probably write another post about how the I never got to enjoy a single fruit because some critter got to it first.
       I have made this crisp twice so far and both times I have had no leftovers. Make it, share it and enjoy it. Until next time!

Pear Crisp (courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)


  • 4 whole (to 5) Large Pears (Bosc Work Well)
  • 2/3 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • _____
  • Topping Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, Very Finely Chopped
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core, and dice pears. Place into a bowl and stir together with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir together. Drizzle melted butter gradually, stirring with a fork as you go until all combined.
Pour pears into a baking dish; top with crumb topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Place pan on top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

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