|This is one of the recipes that
I have received from Pat Churchill in New Zealand.
You can find out more about Pat and her family at
her own website. I think Pat and her husband are
kindred spirits with me in that we have all over
the years relied on (as Pat calls it) Dining In
- with children often a necessity! See below what
Pat had to say when she sent the recipes.
3 or 4 firm pears
1 cup red wine
1 stick cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup brown sugar
Peel, quarter and
core the pears and place them in a saucepan with
the remaining ingredients, adding a little water
to just cover the pears if necessary. Bring to
the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow
the pears to cool in the liquid. Remove the whole
spices and transfer the pears and juice to a serving
bowl. Set aside for several hours overnight
These pears are particularly
good served with a coffee-flavoured ice cream.
From Pat Churchill:
20 years The Spouse and I shared our dinner table
with one, then two sons. During many of their
formative years I was writing a weekly food column
for a Sunday paper in New Zealand. The column
was called Dining In and featured many of the
meals consumed in the Churchill house over several
years, garnished with stories about family life.
The sons, Ben and James, were quite good natured
about the public exposure of their private lives.
I doubt if they ever read the column, which was
probably a help.
The column chronicled their school
activities, their sporting successes, their various
exploits, their birthday parties. There was the
time I made a mega batch of chocolate truffles
for Christmas and hid them in the freezer. One
day the boys had been particularly good, so as
I treat I said they could have a couple of truffles
each. They were hugely and uncharacteristically
reticent. I soon discovered why. The cache had
dwindled by about 75 percent. I decided as theyd
enjoyed them so much, they might as well finish
the lot. They were looking decidedly jaundiced
by the time the last one had been consumed. Next
day they helped me make another batch. It remained
untouched until Christmas!
The birthday parties were fun.
One year I found a recipe on the Internet for
Dirt Cake a sort of chlorate pudding affair
served in a flower pot, interspersed with jelly
"worms" and topped with artificial flowers.
Then there was the year when good old Dad managed
to drop a lit match on a paper napkin, causing
a minor conflagration and major panic. That same
year one three year old kid fell in the toilet
and ended up all wet and with a black eye.
These days, with Ben doing his
big OE in England, and James head deep in the
chemistry books at Otago University, things are
quiet around the dinner table and in the house
in general. No more drum & base reverberating
from one stereo and Metallica from another. These
days its cooking for two. Heres some
of our recent fare.
in the Shell
in red wine