Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My sister-in-law is recuperating at home now, that's good. My new nephew is still in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. He appears to be improving, but seizures, lack of oxygen, and other serious medical things have us all still pretty worried. We're not "out of the woods" yet. This is some serious scary stuff.

Meanwhile, since the "first string" of relatives are still on the job in Virginia, I am working like mad here in Kentucky so that when I need to leave, it will work out ok. I'm reviewing more proofs for Fiber Gathering as it gets ready for publication. (Most authors aren't lucky enough to do a "second pass" of the proofreading, I, however, am this lucky.:)

I'm also crazy at work on book #2...and the professor has also had a lot going on. We've been so busy and pre-occupied we haven't even managed to build a sukkah this year, and gosh I miss it. It's maybe only the second time since we've been married that we haven't built one. Still, I haven't exactly been able to pull off any parties this week, either. Too bad I'm missing out on one of my favorite happy holidays.

Now, when I worry, I cook. Of course, I also didn't want to leave the professor with 7.5 lbs of rotting pears, which was a distinct possibility. These are mostly little Seckel pears (we think) from the professor's family farm and they are ripe when green. They taste sweet, tart and spicy. They are the size of golf balls--a total pain to peel.

First, I made a pear/apple tarte tatin, largely due to the suggestive powers of Janet's post. Those are almonds cooked into the top, and the crust was completely a cheater's one; I used puff pastry. It tastes good. How could a whole stick of butter and sugar caramelized with fruit taste bad, I ask you?!

Then I made 3 pints of vanilla spiced pears in Calvados and 8 cups of pear apricot jam. If I never see another golf ball sized pear to peel, I won't least not until next year!

Here's one of many amazing sunsets we see up at the professor's family farm. I know I still owe you a great post about Green Mountain Spinnery. The thing is, I had a fabulous time there and I'd like to pass along that experience to you. It might have to wait until I'm a little less worried.

Thanks so much for all your prayerful thoughts in my new nephew's direction. I am grateful.


Blogger Deb said...

So glad that your Sister-in-law is doing well. Will continue sending good thoughts and prayers for the little guy. Such a worrisome time for the entire family.

Your tarte looks yummy....I've never processed pears as we do not have any trees nor have I found any place to buy them fresh in Maine.

Green Mountain Spinnery is one of my favorite places. I look forward to hearing about your trip there.
Keep your chin up!

October 15, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Your cooking looks and sounds lovely; so sorry about the cause of it, though. Will continue to anticipate a healthy outcome for all.

October 15, 2008 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Karen at ConnectingThreads said...

Thank you for the update on your family. Many positive thoughts headed your way.

October 16, 2008 at 12:10 AM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

It's 10:40 at night and I suddenly want to bake the green pears in the kitchen. That looks wonderful.

I'm glad your sister-in-law's doing well, and my prayers continue for your new nephew.

October 16, 2008 at 12:43 AM  
Blogger Dibosai said...

Glad to hear your sister-in-law is doing well. I hope the little guy improves soon. Prayers and good thoughts coming his way!

October 16, 2008 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Oh Joanne,

sending white light and positive thoughts Eastwards...

October 16, 2008 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

oh, my, Joanne! Just coming up for air and reading your blog. What a lot to have going on in your life. positive thoughts for you and your family. xxoo

October 18, 2008 at 9:25 AM  

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