Excuses, excuses

I hang my head in shame that I didn’t actually make the cookies for the IMBB#10: Cookie Swap. (Domestic Goddess: IMBB#10 round up) My excuse?? It was our wedding anniversary and all kitchen time on 21 November was spent in preparing our candlelit dinner – steamed clams, drawn butter and French-style bread to start; navy beans with onions and bacon added, sugar snap peas with fresh mint (from the garden!!!), barbecued duck breast, roasted potatoes for the main course; poached pears for dessert. The wine: Lynch Bages grand cru classé Pauillac 1989. The dinner was spectacular! And the wine (I had purchased it in New York City in 1993 when I was there on business – price tag still attached to the bottle US$34.99) was truly wonderful. Still very opaque. Legs on it were unbelievable. While it wasn’t particularly fruity, it was very big, somewhat tannic and had tones of wild berry flavours. It went perfectly with the duck.

When it came to eating the pears, we realized that we had foolishly run out of toscanello AND parmesan cheese (how can anyone run out of parmesan cheese???). We had also neglected to get whipping cream so we ate the pears just in the wine syrup. This time, I peeled one large pear (leaving the stem intact), cut it in half, cored it, and poached it for about half an hour in Farnese Sangiovese Daunia 2002. When I thought the pear was done, I removed the halves and placed them round side up in the dessert dishes. I put a sprig of mint at the stem end of the pear and then drizzled the reduced syrup overtop.