This past weekend, something changed in the weather. I woke up refreshed on Saturday (it may have been around noon), and the light in my bedroom was strikingly different. And there was a breeze.
It had the air of fall, but, like I know very well, the weather in this city continuously toys with my heart.
But lo and behold, it was a beautifully tempered day, with a bit of a breeze and a few moments that warned I should have been wearing a sweater.
Those days are my favorites, after all. I love the California style of being comfortable wearing shorts and a fluffy sweater. We can do that for about 3 days, tops, here in DC.
When the weather is too cold to sit outside, though, fluffy sweaters are fair game.
Just to prep myself and my roommates for the fabulous, chilly weather ahead, I jumped ahead of the weatherman and poached these pears, filling our kitchen with the chai-like scents that we all associate with cooler temperatures and deciduous leaves. For an easy yet impressive dessert, please do try this at home.
4 Barlett pears
1 bottle of red wine (half for poaching, half for drinking)
4 clementines or tangerines, freshly juiced (or a couple of oranges)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
In a saucepan, combine half of the bottle of wine, citrus juice (and throw on of the juiced peels in there, too), and spices. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer.
Peel your pears entirely (I chose pears with stems to make maneuvering easier), and place in the saucepan with the spice-wine mixture. Cover, and let simmer on low for 35 minutes. Every now and then, check the color of your pears, and turn when needed. Your pears will be a beautiful deep red.
When finished, grate some lemon zest over each pear. Drizzle with the remaining red wine sauce.