Thursday, 21 October 2010

Parents' Evenings, Principals & Pickled Pears

This week I have been on church visits every day, but found time for some crafting and baking in between (and guilt-free, because there are only 2 things in the ironing basket, and the house is reasonably tidy!)
Scott has had a busy week - a new Principal has been appointed, but Scott will need to carry on as acting principal for a while, till they work their notice. There is lots of change in the air.
The kids are all quite happy. The boys all had their Parent's Evenings this week.
Jack's teacher said he could work a bit harder after he has completed the work that has been set, but that even if he just coasts, he'll still be head and shoulders ahead of most, in all his subjects. I said that it sounds fairly typical of a 10 year old boy to not create his own work, once he's finished what has been set, and asked the teacher to just give him some follow-on work. Jack's teacher seemed happy to do that anyway.
Tom's teacher said he is a delight, and an asset to the class, he is interested in everything, and a good all-rounder.
Harry's teacher said he seems happy at school, has loads of friends, is interested in learning, has a creative streak, and needs to not chatter during carpet time quite so much, and help tidy up a bit more!
Lucy turns 13 on Sunday, and has a sleep-over with a few school friends tomorrow night (and a church sleep-over, and a sleep-over with her friend that moved to Lincolnshire, next week too!)
We are proud of all of them, and lucky that they enjoy school, and find it easy enough, and work hard.
Anyway, today as well as church visits, I thoroughly enjoyed dehydrating orange slices, making blueberry muffins, and Pickled Pears, with a load of pears someone gave me from church. Sweet and tangy and syrupy....mmmm.....Here's the recipe (someone asked me for it today):

8 lb cooking, or unripe, pears
1 stick cinnamon
3-4 cloves
2 pints white wine vinegar (though I didn't have any to hand, so used a mixture of cider vinegar & pickling vinegar)
3.5 lb granulated sugar

Tie the spices in a piece of muslin (though I didn't bother with the muslin), and add to the vinegar with the sugar. Bring to the boil and set aside.
Peel the pears, quarter and core. Put pears in a pan, barely cover with cold water and simmer for about 1 hour.
Drain pairs and add to spiced vinegar syrup.
Simmer slowly until they look clear, and are quite tender. (This may take up to 1 hour)
Take out with a draining spoon, pack down into jars, and then boil the syrup until thick. (I boiled mine till it is nearly like runny toffee sauce, but I don't think it needs to be quite that thick!)
Then pour syrup over the pears to cover completely, and seal.
Leave for 1 month before using.

I'm planning on saving mine till Christmas, and eating with nice cheeses, or maybe a good vanilla ice cream!

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