Thursday, September 26, 2013

In Praise of Pears

I had a friend in high school whose mother was Swiss. She had impeccable manners and ate tree fruit with a knife.

Her kitchen was immaculate and smelled of green apple, green apple being the scent of her dish detergent. That we Americans equated "clean" with "citrus-scented" was almost criminally incorrect; this was a woman who painstakingly decorated her tree for Christmas with Red Ornaments or Ornaments Made of Straw (either, or, and never both).

She never had the gross spectacle of colored lights on an electrical wire as we, her barbarian neighbors did, but always had wax tapers, spotless in their little silver holders, a magical and very flammable fairyland.

This time of year I think of her carefully taking off of a mahogony-red Red Anjou every millimeter of skin (she probably dreamed in metric) and resisting the urge to just take a big-forearmed farm-girl bite.
Some things are better savored.

Have piece of cheese, then a bit of pear. Would wine add to this moment? How about a view? Doucement, I remind myself. This is a still life. With pears, the journey is the destination.