Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The wisdom of Yogi and some Pear Butter

"If the world was perfect it wouldn't be."
Yogi Berra

"

Cyclical.  That's what's happening.  Something wobbly cyclical.  Summer hasn't march in an even beat.  It is still part of the circle but not ticking evenly.  It seems like summer speeds up and then slows down.  Then speeds up again. I wanted do something different, but somehow it was the same.  Then I realized there are little changes all the time in my studio.  I just can't see it because I need new prescription---or do I mean perspective?

"Pair up in threes."
Yogi Berra


Every year I do pears in the summer.  Not many.  Just enough to keep me busy, but not so much to keep me from enjoying making them.  This year they came out so beautifully stippled and scarred.  As if they were grown in an abandoned and overgrown orchard. Last year I trimmed an old magnolia tree and dried the branches just to make the stems for the smaller pears. The large pears (about 7" tall) have ceramic stems as I can make them thick and sturdy.  The terra sigillata was made last year and left to age under the work table.  It is now silky and goes on with a satiny hue.  A bit of flannel and an old polishing stone and  a bit of soft buffering was all that was needed. Oxidation fired to cone 05.  A finishing touch of a stem and they were done.  


"When you come to a fork in the road take it."
Yogi Berra 
We drive by the few remaining pear orchards (more vineyards now) whenever we go up to the P.S. house.  The Barlett pears are so buttery and sweet this year.  I bought 15 lbs at a pear festival.  They ripen all at once.  So I did a little canning.  Pear quarters bathing with a few cardamom pods, a couple of whole star anise, 1 rather large cinnamon stick in a honeyed light syrup. Yum.  I also spent some time making strawberry jam and pear butter.  The pear butter went into half-pints.  It reminds me that unlike my ceramic pears, these are not calorie-free.   A little bit goes a long way to tasty sunny happiness.


10 comments:

  1. What a delicious post - in every way!

    I had to look twice, no, three times at your realistic pears, to see that they were in fact ceramic.
    Eye candy they are.

    You are a wizard, Charlene... in the studio AND the kitchen.

    Pear butter - oh my, my, my :)

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    1. Hello Vicki--The house smells heavenly still--from the cardamom and star anise! Clay smells good sometimes---but never as heavenly......

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  2. Pear butter! I have never heard of that, but sounds heavenly! Yes, they always become ripe together. : ) English pears only come to market late August, or even later. We love Comice. It amuses me how people get attracted to certain things to make, including myself. Each has a story behind it, I guess. : )

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    1. Years ago, on a lark, I decided to make pears and persimmons for a gallery requesting small work for their holiday market.
      I delivered them in a wood crate, each loosely cushioned in washi paper---like the old times when fresh fruit in were considered a precious gift. They sold immediately. Now it is tradition for me to make pears and persimmons for the holiday markets. Every year I change them up a bit--just to keep it interesting.

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    2. Thank you for sharing your story. : )

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  3. Your pears are so realistic - I had to look twice too. And then - well my mouth is watering - pears that taste of butter with cinnamon and star anise . . . . just wow!

    And I love the Yogi Berra quotes - so confusingly apt!

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  4. He was a person who spoke what he said honestly :)

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  5. Hello, Charlene, the world may not be perfect, but to my eye, your ceramic pears are! The modelling is quite remarkable and the finish is so incredibly life-like, it would be easy to bite into one by mistake. :)

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    1. To think they started off as pinch pots and coils! The pear form is deliciously soothing to the eye. And these are easier to make than pear butter!

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