Sunday, January 08, 2006

Red D'Anjou Pears

They sound far more pretentious than I think they really are. D'Anjou, translated using the google language tools means simply, "from Anjou." That's a frustrating answer. Kind of like someone telling you "just because" is a reasonable answer for any question. Presuming that it means Anjou is a place, I proceeded on a little journey through google land to this explanation of Anjou. Whew! That was quite a bit of reading for nothing.

I noticed a little sticker on the pear (where I read the name from to begin with) that sends me to the site where I find this. Everything I really needed to know about my lovely red treasures.

These were my reward today for being adventurous.

This morning we tried desperately to wake early, but those plans were quickly canceled. When I was finally able to roll myself out of the bed and gobble down some cream of buckwheat, we made our way off to the Denver Zoo. My dear Houston and I had promised each other we were going to do something this weekend that did not involve spending money. We live 2 miles from the zoo and are members, so we make frequent trips to roam the Tropical Discovery exhibit in the winter.

I have been waiting all week to try and make gnocchi. After seeing Rachel Ray eating them on the food network and learning they were made primarily of potato, I knew that I had to give it a try. Anything that can be made gluten-free is a worthwhile adventure in itself. This post is about the pears though...

Someone at work who lives in the same Denver neighborhood I do told me about an Italian grocery nearby. I was amazed that I had never noticed or stopped in, so after the zoo we made our way over to check out Spinelli's Market. True to the description I had received it was a small market nestled in the neighborhood. I immediately headed into the produce aisle, where prominently placed were these burgandy colored pears. I gaped at them for a moment before continuing down their aisles of fresh organic produce. Many were presented in large baskets and crates. It was a little step back into a smaller world and a slower pace. I took my time perusing the vegetables.

I had been sent in particular for their Italian sausage. I only had a moment to peer into their meat case before a sharp man asked me in an impatient tone if I needed something. I try not to get bent out of shape at first impressions, so I asked him if their sausage contained fillers. I have food allergies (which while fundamentally untrue because Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder seems to be the most easily understood in the world around me) is what I told him. He said he really wasn't sure and stood there staring at me. I explained that I couldn't purchase any without knowing. He answered that he would have to look at the packaging. He made no move to do so and looked anxiously over my shoulder at the woman behind me. I stepped aside.

I think that I should have been more assertive and forced the issue, but for all I know his dog may have passed suddenly that morning thus causing the stick in his...well, you know... I have plans to stop into the grocery and try again. I didn't let it run me off completely and made a mental inventory of other items of interest that I knew were not off limits to me. The pasta aisle of course was out, and their pre-made gnocchi contained wheat flour. They had some that intrigued me though. They were pumpkin gnocchi. It sounds like my gnocchi adventure is just beginning.

I selected a lovely rolled prusciutto and mozzarella to go with the gnocchi I was making this evening, and stopped back through the produce where I placed three of those lovely pears in a small paper sack. The word foodography played heavily across my tongue and lips and the color and texture of the pears drank in my eyes.

I have been photographing them all evening. Later, it will be all over. No more photo ops. I shall slice one of them in half, warm it slightly in the oven, and place a small scoop of vanilla ice cream in the hollow created by it's absent seed. Simple and delicious, I had better eat it quickly before it melts.

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