Fashioning A Silk Purse From A Sow’s Ear

A Little Slice Of Heaven

There’s almost nothing I dislike more than waste.

Having a CSA share every summer means that I’ve learned to get pretty creative with its contents so that they don’t end up going into the trash.

But, now that summer has taken it’s final bow, we’ve gone back to receiving what our organic grocer Bob from Clean Food Connection calls a “vegpak” in every order, which basically amounts to a box full of fruits and veggies that his staff will pack up for me, based on my likes/dislikes/preferences.  So, while everything we receive is always something we’ll enjoy, sometimes it means we end up with produce that we weren’t necessarily expecting.

And sometimes that produce will sit around my kitchen almost until the brink of decay.  Which is exactly how I ended up having 6 overripe bosc pears sitting on my counter with no immediate plans for them yesterday.

At first glance, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to make a pear crisp, but once I started to peel the pears, I realized that there was no way they’d be firm enough to stand up to that.  Which is how I ended up making a puree.  And once I had that puree, it was only a mental hop, skip and a jump to deciding that a pear-based quick bread was the way to go.  Fortifying my general quick bread recipe with the addition of oats and a pinch of camphorous cardamom put the finishing touches on the bread.

And with a longer than usual blast in the oven it was a fait accompli; a spicy, sweet and tender bread with the barest flecks of chocolate throughout.  Divine!

Foodie’s Chocolate Cardamom Pear Bread

2 c. whole wheat flour

0.5 c. brown sugar

0.5 c. rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp salt

0.5 tsp cinnamon

0.5 tsp cardamom

0.25 tsp baking soda

0.33 c. butter, softened

2 c. pureed pears (about 6)

0.33 c. chocolate chips

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*.  Combine the first 8 ingredients in a medium sized bowl until well blended.  Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in pureed pears and eggs, and mix gently until smooth.  Add chocolate chips, stir once or twice to distribute, then pour batter into a loaf pan.  Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Makes 1 loaf.

Until next time…

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