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When life hands you pears, make pear bread. Seriously, it's so good.

When life hands you pears, make pear bread. Seriously, it’s so good.

As evidenced by a second food post in a week, I’m on a baking binge.

I used to be in the habit of baking something every weekend, to last into the week. Then I had Jax. But since that little man, while picky about some things, likes baked goods a whole freaking bunch, I decided to try to resurrect this practice. The apple cheddar scones disappeared quickly and I wanted some bread. I wanted banana bread. I was out of bananas and it was freezing and leaving the house just wasn’t going to happen.

But I had these pears. A couple were getting mushy. I’d been thinking about baked pears but the recipe I use calls for lots of brown sugar and butter, and I think I ate my weight in pie over Thanksgiving weekend, so the super-sweetness didn’t appeal to me.

Mushed pears, mushed bananas, what’s the difference? I watched it rise through the oven’s glass door, considering the possibilities of it being either terrible or fantastic.

After 45 minutes, I had made pear bread. And it was fantastic (and Jax ate some!). “The difference,” apparently, is a really subtle sweetness. Oh, and how the whole house smelled good, familiar but new, for the rest of the day. Apples and bananas get baked into things all the time. Berries in muffins—been there, done that, and they’re great, but I’ve never baked pears into anything before this bread. I won’t ignore pears again.

I intended the bread to last through the week, and it survived until Wednesday. It survived until the day I got two calls offering jobs I desperately need, in terms of both finances and, you know, my soul. One is a second online teaching job.  A year ago, teaching had seemed an impossibility. The other is with a college, where the possibilities for trying new things and developing new skills are endless.

A month ago, six months ago, two days ago, I had no idea how I was going to make a full-time living. Job hunting is the worst. I had dozens of possibilities, though, and I got them all together and made something.

The pear bread is a metaphor, duh! A delicious, not-too-sweet metaphor. Should I call it Metaphor Bread?

Pear Bread (Or, My Stepmom’s Banana Bread, but with Pears instead of Bananas; or, Metaphor Bread)

  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening or butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, unbeaten
  • 1 cup mushed pears

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until mixed well. Thoroughly mix shortening with sugar (by hand or with an electric mixer), then add eggs and continue to stir until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in dry ingredients and pears gradually until smooth. Turn into loaf pan and bake one hour.