April 30, 2011

Jam Slam: Pear Mostardo

I was so excited when I discovered Red Anjous at the supermarket at the end of March. "My new favorite, still available? Awesome!" I thought. Then I found out I'm suddenly allergic to pears. Not making a correlation between dessert of Pears 'n' Bleu and the insane itchiness, two days later I ate another pear and BAM! Hives. BB suggested Googling what to do and, let me tell you, if you Google "hives+bee pollen" you will get a half million results and still not get medical advice. The beekeeper in me would've been content to sit at the computer exploring for hours. But at one point we thought I was headed to the ER so kept searching until we determined that Claritin would be my savior.

Why didn't I Google "pears+hives"? Well, it seemed strange to me that halfway through Life, I'd suddenly be allergic to pears. I thought the bee pollen immunotherapy - which is working fantastically against my Springtime allergies - was the villain. Only an Allergist will be able to tell me for sure, but in the meantime, the Anjous sitting on the kitchen counter were not going to be wasted. So I preserved them. Here is this month's entry in Special Agent Lotus' jam slam.

Pear and Kumquat Mostardo
Simmer about 20"
8 kumquats, stem ends trimmed
1 cup of simple syrup
(The kumquats should be tender and somewhat candied.)

Add and simmer another 15"±
1 pear (jacketed or not), halved and cored
1 T. honey (or more as needed)
2 t. dry mustard (preferably Colman's)
1 t. mustard seeds (preferably black)

Put everything in a 1-pint jar, adding enough honey so there is about 1cm head space. Boiling water process 25".

Anjous are just divine fresh, and my fingers are crossed that these held up to the cooking. If they're anywhere near as good preserved as fresh, I'll be OK with having to eat pears cooked from now on. Normally I wouldn't post an untested recipe, but to be honest, the hives are still so fresh in my memory - just thinking about them is making me itchy - that I haven't been brave enough to pop the jar. I plan on serving the mostardo with either roasted pork or duck, which are Fall foods IMHO. So you'll just have to wait for the full review in 6 months or so. Stay tuned...

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