Dave and I are members of the Park Slope Food Co-op, where we each do a two and a half hour work shift once every four weeks in exchange for the right to shop. Sounds crazy, maybe, but I can walk three blocks from my apartment and find fresh turmeric root, fresh galangal, curry leaves, organic everything, and incredibly inexpensive Scharffenberger chocolate. That’s worth a few hours a month of physical labor.
A few months back, we were stocking produce when Dave decided he had to buy a big sack of Stark Crimson pears. The problem with working with produce is that at the end of your shift, you know exactly what is freshest and ripest and best in the store, and you have the time to shop then and there. Those pears came home with us.
Dave rinsed them, chopped them up into approximately 1″ chunks, and threw them into a big mason jar with some cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. He added just enough vodka to cover the contents, then closed the jar and left it in the pantry for a month or so, taking it out and shaking it occasionally. Once it tasted strong enough, he strained out the pears and spices, and added sugar syrup to sweeten the liquor.
We like to leave it in the freezer for a while before serving, as you would limoncello, so that it has a chance to thicken and chill. It is one of the best things to ever emerge from our kitchen. Sweet, rich, intensely flavored – neither of us tend to enjoy alcohol, but we can’t stop sipping this liquor, and he has another batch in progress already.
Also, did I mention that I have a new camera? The Canon 30D. It’s my first digital SLR (oh, let’s be honest – it’s my first SLR, period). These are among the first photos I took with it when it arrived last night. The photo of the liquor was taken with the Canon 100mm/f2.8 Macro lens, and the photo of Dave protesting (yawning, he says) was taken with the Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens.
They’re already better than anything I could do with my old Canon PowerShot S400 (what I’ve been using up to this point), and I still haven’t really figured out how to use this thing yet.
I love the new camera set-up. I want a better tripod and more lenses already.
I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.