Well I'm Molly,
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05
and I'm Matt.
And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any and my
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11
chair was in a weird place.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:15
everything's good now. We're talking about pears.
We are it's episode number 521. And somehow we have not done pairs Yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:23
Yeah, I think this was this is a listener Dana suggestion. And it's a classic
Wait a minute, is this listener Dana, who has submitted a lot of great suggestions Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:32
that's right listener Dana not only like has great suggestions but also like is a master of like figuring out which obvious things we haven't done and then suggesting them so that I like go to our catalog and I'm like, you know, I'm gonna make Lister Dana's day by saying look, we did pairs Episode 241 and then I look and we've never done it. Like
you are a wizard.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:54
What is the topic that you would be most surprised to learn that we haven't done like, what if we hadn't done
potato chips? Yeah. Soy Sauce Yeah, although it took us a while to do sauce. omelets really that would surprise you
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:11
oh no fried eggs Yeah, that was episode one. And and we did it again for episode like 10 years or something
now right? Right. Yeah. Okay, well today we're talking about pairs it was suggested by listener Dana you know we're recording this in October it's wow we should I should just stop telling people how far in advance we're recording
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:34
Yeah, I mean, I feel like now it's just getting braggy Oh, like okay, we're recording this in 1998
I'm 20 years old man he's still older than me
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:47
I'm still I'm still older than my we just got our copies of in the aeroplane over the sea.
I have just lost my virginity
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:58
since the episode wow yeah, I think I would have noticed that we're
not married Matthew but that hasn't stopped me from losing my virginity right now. It's happening right
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:09
now I mean I was looking the other direction so anything all right wow Hey 9098 everybody and now we're back that was our we that was our one time machine usage
Yeah. Oh no. Oh no, I would like to go back and use it for oh wait hold on in all seriousness listeners let's get serious it's it's Christmas for those who celebrate Chris Yes. It's it's the most wonderful time of the year for some people yeah
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:41
I hope that your stockings are filled with pairs
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:48
okay yeah, well like don't don't Harry and David do like Christmas pairs this I feel like this was a thing I learned about in the eagle it era you know
I do remember so you know my dad was a doctor and would receive all kinds of various like gifts from both like other physicians like maybe companies they worked with like, like if
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:12
you'd been in Japan he would have received like an expensive melon. Exactly.
And then he would sometimes get I mean the best gifts of course were when he had patients who brought in like homemade stuff I was that was pretty crass gift
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:24
if you're a doctor is just like going to the pharmacy and just crap whatever you like.
Yeah, cuz that's
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:30
that's what I guess they could do that anyway.
No, but um, I distinctly remember there being gifts like you know a box of pears are great fruit like Rio star grape for sure thing from Texas. You know, back when I used to own a restaurant. Our CPA used to send us half like a side of smoked salmon. That sounds nice at Christmas time and I was always like, Oh my God, this makes me feel like such a grown up
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:03
Yeah, it's a very like grown up Seattle gift.
Nothing makes me feel more like a grown up except getting the annual birthday card from the CPA.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:13
Sure. Yeah. Oh yeah. No, I get I get like an annual like holiday. Or maybe like Do you have anyone who sends you a calendar like a cheap like like Oh yes, page office,
or literary or shared literary agent sends us like a like a trifold calendar every year and I'm always like, really guy?
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:31
Yeah, I think I still get those even though there is no chance that I'm ever going to make them any more money.
I'm making them very little money. I mean, contrary to what people think about authors like really? Yeah, no, like
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:43
we're like at our like tier of authorship, like, you know, we're really like we rarely clear 10 million in a typical year,
rarely. There was that one year. bought out the pharmacy.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:55
Oh, that's right. Yeah, it really went and bought the farm. Yeah, as we call it.
Wait a minute I was wondering recently is the phrase bought the farm or bet the farm
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:04
I think it's both mean different things okay so bought the farm just means you died like
done yeah because my ex husband bought a farm last week yes
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:15
this always comes up when someone literally buys a farm yeah okay but bet the farm is like like Tibet at all yeah better off yeah okay okay I don't know why buy the farm I mean let's let's turn to Mr. Etymology
I don't know why are bought by the farm cups wrote about mini Meester etymology. This was this was definitely a mini Easter etymology segment where maybe we need a different one for when we just haven't looked it up I don't know the answer. We're taking suggestions whatever what that added no litchi because oh, like we don't know why. Just like no, no, just before you got here why for the show, Laurie and I were having a talk about like, try to remember genders of words in French that we thought about in decades.
Yeah. While the way I said that sounded a little bit like Yeah. So were there any fun stories that came out of that?
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:14
No. Oh, good story, we can remember whether both was male or female, but we Yeah, that was our conclusion. Yeah. All right. Okay. All right. So let me see you at Moto G. Let's talk about parrot memory lane of pairs.
All right. Well, I'm going to start this off. Yeah, my memory lane of pairs is quite long. Okay, that's great. Yeah, so I remember eating pears as a kid just sliced always skin on Yep, same here sliced raw. Here's one thing I was thinking about as I was working on this agenda. canned fruit seemed like so much more like it was so much more present in the universe of my life when I was a kid than it is now. Oh sure.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:00
We serve canned fruit like for snack to our kid it's so convenient
Do you think that it is as popular like the market share is as big now as it was when we were kids or I mean now that there's so much more global shipping I mean every like there's no no interesting because I think that another way in which pairs appeared on my memory lane is that they were in like fruit cocktail. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:27
right we did a fruit cocktail. Yeah,
I know we've talked about like, I know we've talked about the wonder that is canned peaches and canned pear. Yeah, but they have to be cold
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:36
They have to be cold. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:38
yes. And the little canned mandarin orange slices are so good if they're ice cold
Okay, can I kind of go back and get those Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:45
they're pretty good.
I almost texted you like 45 minutes ago to say Matthew if you happen to be out on your your morning constitutional I was oh man. I was like do you want to pick up some canned pears? I wouldn't have been able to chill them in time. Okay, okay. Well anyway, I remember as a kid discovering the canned pears are awesome. Yeah, it's also super satisfying how like the canned pear halves Am I remembering correctly that it's almost like there's a channel that's been tumbled out of the middle of
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:15
it because like that's the that's the pair doesn't really have a core in the same way that an Apple does. That tiny little backbone of core and then of course like the seedy part right in the middle
anyway, canned pears are amazing if a bit grainy. Yes. Which is you know, a risk one takes whenever one eats a pair. Yeah. Anyway. I also of course remember poached pears and then also one of the first recipes that I ever chose myself and like was excited to make okay. involved pears was I was hair cake. It was a ginger cake. That was served with carmelized pears Oh that sounds good. And I remember so this was in the days of gourmet magazine. And I was 17 years old. I think it was around the holidays and Do you remember how they had like you know there were so many little different sections of the magazine but there was one that was like quick recipes. Yeah, well we would probably call 30 minute meals now.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:15
Sure. So those they would be like on like tear like perforated cards that might have been a different
that was a different magazine. I don't think we're may ever did that I didn't mind cooking. They didn't want to make things that easy for us. But there was a recipe in that section. So it was like a simple cake It was a layer cake excuse me it was a single layer cake it was made in I think like an eight by eight pan and it was a fresh ginger cake so it fresh ginger in it and then you would take pears and you would peel them and cut them into thin wedges and caramelized butter and sugar in a skillet and cook the pears there and then serve them kind of draped over this fresh ginger cake and this was a revelation for me. Cuz I was gonna I in fact wrote a piece of writing about the night that I made this cake
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:07
that's that memorable died in 1998
this this was like a big moment for me I think as a writer, like this piece was really
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:18
like where, like, Where did you put it on your blog,
so I actually put a version of it in a homemade light. Okay. And but it was much wackier in the original version. I did it was very I remember it was my junior year of English. And we had been reading all kinds of very challenging stuff like Toni Morrison or Faulkner. Wow. Yeah. And so I think I was like, really interested in the old like, sort of lack of punctuation run on a stream of consciousness, etc. It was a very stream of consciousness piece that involved this this night in which I made this cake. My mom was poaching pears and my dad was making rice pudding all of us in the kitchen at the same time. Did your
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:02
dad feel left out? Because his his thing didn't involve pears? Probably. Can we read this somewhere? Now? Is it on your blog?
No, no, I actually it may be on my blog. If it's on my blog. It's a million years back. But you can find a version of it in a homemade light. Okay, but not the wackiest version? Not the way I don't I don't know if I let the wackiest version like out of the box, frankly. But I feel like it was my first piece of food writing and it was I remember it being so fun. Like I really felt I felt so alive while I was writing. Yeah, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:36
know what you mean. No, my first piece of feeder feed writing feed writing. Oh, yeah. Before I got into human food, I wrote a lot of stuff to feed. Yeah, like tastings. Yeah. I'm, like, tasted slops. we tasted that agricultural grade corn. Yeah, we tasted Yes. Yeah. corn.
tasted corn. What about so okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:59
No, that was the whole bit okay. Um, yeah, no, right. No, there was there was some gonna be some truth. There was gonna be a corn kernel of truth, which is that the first food piece I ever wrote was about peaches or at Pizza Rama. So my first piece was about peaches and yours is of add pears. That's weird. That is
weird. Yeah. Especially like for the two of us and what our interests have, you know, one year with this have been for you. This would have been I believe, 95 the winter of 95. Okay, I was 17
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:29
is what am I like 98 or 99? For me,
okay. Okay. And so you were at that point like 2324 very
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:36
mature, mature, so mature. Yeah. All right. So my memory lane I remember my mom cutting slices of pears, which I ate with the skin on and I thought of another Memory Lane while you were talking which was at some point and I was many years ago but I don't remember exactly when we for the show. Laurie brought home a co nice pair. I don't know if it's nice or comis. I've always said commies, and that like having I think up to that point, as far as I know, really only had Bartlett pears, like the komiks pair was a revelation.
Because when we're recording this in 1998 it's kind of the beginning of pair season so actually all I've had so far this season are Bartlett's and Asian pears.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:20
Yeah, remind me that if we were to Asian pair episode I don't know I think maybe that should be a separate episode because I didn't really think about it.
I included it here we can touch on it right? I'm trying to imagine in my mind's mouth the difference between komiks and Anju Are
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:38
you okay? Like the Anjou pears like I don't really have any conception of I know they exist and they have a fancy name and I know I've had them
I tend to think of Komi Synology was both being kind of around around or plumper pair plumper pair and I tend to think of them as being juicy are like a Bartlett a Bartlett is not a Bartlett or a boss they're not gonna like run down your chin
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:00
well the bossk is is an especially dry pair I think more so than a Bartlett
yes but a Bartlett I mean I've never had a Bartlett run down my chin I've never had to like
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:10
yeah, you're right I think that's probably like what really did it for me with a co nice pair because like I like a super juicy peach I guess who doesn't like a non juicy peach what kind of barbarian
hold on I know we're gonna get to how we eat peaches later but do yours even
okay, but do you ever just bite into a pair or do you say
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:35
no no so nice I just bite into oh yeah no
I don't that's barbaric. I
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:40
once again this year for the second year neuro we've signed up for like a true CSA not just like a box of Yeah, like imperfect foods but but a true farm share CSA of like a fruit local fruit farm. And so we're gonna be Jenin Collins
orchard. Yeah, yeah. Oh man. I always mean to do that. And I always miss it
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:01
yeah so there so we're gonna like go down to a house in our neighborhood and pick up like a big ass box of mostly apples but some pears I'm really hoping for some Colin's parents is it start it starts like this week
so I do like a vegetable CSA through a local farm and I got I always missed the window on the fruit CSA i mean
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:23
do you want to just like drunk drive over here once a week and steal some of our fruit
just let me know when you get tired your fruit okay yeah there's always that part in the year when you're gonna get another apple
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:34
but like for the very beginning you get like a few of the last like plums and plots but but there's definitely gonna be some pears in there and those pears like when we get like too many pears I'm not gonna be eating pears over the sink. Okay, I'm not gonna love to slice them up.
I love it. Okay, okay. Well So is there anything else you want to say about memory lane?
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:52
Memory Lane on Christmas? there's a there's an incredible illumination like display like all the houses on memory lane? Like if you're that one house on memory lane? doesn't put lights on your house like fuck you.
What are you even talking about right now?
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:07
When you were a kid did you ever drive to like like, you know, candy cane lane or like so
we never did that. But actually my family has now started a tradition where we go to a neighborhood in like, not far from our neighborhood, undisclosed location and undisclosed location. Try to remember what the what in Portland and we try we actually walk ecoc Lane. Oh, I've never I've never gone to yield candy cane lane or whatever it is. But I have gone to Olympic Manor in Seattle is like a very like 50s housing development
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:40
that does a lot of Christmas lights. Yeah, and that's fun. I didn't I didn't have like any point I was trying to make about that just exists.
Okay, go check it out. Well, let's talk about pears, shall we? Or we could change this and talk about peaches or we
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:53
could talk about Christmas lights. Okay, maybe next week. Okay, great. Okay, so
let's start with some basic pear info. Yes. So the the pear tree is a species of genus Piru CE p Why
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:13
are you I was just gonna say pirates. Oh, that's like let's hop Iris
seems right what's wrong with me? Why did I like Hebrews?
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:26
Good afternoon. I gotta pee.
Anyway, pirates is in the family. Rosie Shea rosacea. I can never get that right?
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:37
No, it's it's one of these things that that has like 17 vowels in it but it's just proud like blit
Yeah, exactly. Or buff? Yeah buff has like 17 vowels in it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:50
You just say both.
Anyway, some species of course are valued for the fruit while others are cultivated as trees or for wood.
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:57
pearwood pearwood is very desirable for musical instruments apparently it doesn't warp easily.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:03
Okay, that makes that's probably why I carve most of my flutes from pearwood Yeah.
I also used for furniture at the plant is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the old world. So Western Europe North Africa, Asia. Yeah. All right. And it makes sense when I see you know, coastal and mildly temperate it makes sense that it would grow well here and like Washington does
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:29
seem like building woodwind instruments would be a pretty cool hobby. It does like it would cuz it would take a lot of time.
You know, it's really too bad that my ex husband he was really like learning how to build violins and cellos Okay, while like right before the pandemic and maybe you guys could have liked together on like a lathe
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:53
or something. Oh, yeah, we got a got a lathe. Do you need a lathe to build violins? I don't either.
I don't know. Okay, all right. So pear cultivation goes way back into antiquity. And there's even evidence of pears being used as food in prehistoric times okay apparently traces whatever traces there would be if pairs like some gross discarded skin. Yeah, have been found in prehistoric dwellings near Lake Zurich. And oh, yeah, I think we should take a corporate retreat. Oh, yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:24
This sounds heavily tax deductible. Okay, so wait, so prepare cultivation goes way back to antiquity? Do you think the apple in the Garden of Eden might have been a pear
probably okay. Yeah. Let's get busy rewriting that Bible. There's so many so many sections that I'd like to I've got
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:43
some new songs to share with you. Like a real sexy ones.
So, pears were cultivated in China as early as 2000 BCE, okay. The pair was also cultivated by the Romans, who like us ate the fruit It's both raw and cooked and it was the Romans who introduced pairs to Britain
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:05
I always kind of forget that the Romans were in Britain like I know this the same set to because like it seems like like how did they get across the water? I think is boats
I think you're right i think or maybe the Loch Ness Monster maybe
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:21
one of those two maybe wrote on its back
right on its back Yeah, yeah because if it when it straightens itself out, oh, it goes across the channel. Okay, that's how long
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:32
it's a very long monster one of the longest monsters Yes.
Okay. According to the pair bureau Northwest I love that this
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:40
I was kind of wishing that I had learned about the pair bureau Northwest earlier than last night
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:47
because there's a big big deal in Northwest Florida culture.
Big deal Yeah, we are living in like the epicenter of fruit fruit a culture Yeah. Anyway, I learned about the pair bureau Northwest and so many other things on Wikipedia but maybe someday you and I could actually call up somebody from the pair bureau Northwest I
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:08
used to do this back when I wrote food articles I'm sure you did too. Like you would like call someone like Washington State University because he had a question about like, like, livestock or produce and they would know everything.
I didn't do so many reported pieces, but I did do a piece once for the art of eating or the art of eating and bear was the publisher. I did a piece and I had a phone call with pear ma oh oh my god French it was oh my god was terrifying that I
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:40
literally can't think of anything was scary that sounds like a nightmare that I would have I
will at bear was like so I really want you to contact you know Baker's and I'd like you to you know, really go to the source. And so I emailed some people who put me in touch with other people put me in touch with other people and I got all the way up the chain to prma that
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:59
what was the subject of the piece? canalys Oh, yeah,
yeah, yeah, it was Wow, did I ever go through so many rounds of revisions. I mean, it was I felt wrung out
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:12
by the end I know I did this piece I want to read it again. I would like to read it again to
Yeah, anyway, that was one of the more exhaustive pieces I ever did. I mean, I also spoke to other bakers I spoke to Ken for cash to list off all the Baker's all the Baker's anyway but prma was definitely like as close as I got to that is
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:35
the the pinnacle thing. The difference is like when you call like a State University to talk to agriculture Professor like usually just call it me answer the phone.
Yeah, you know, weirdly, pyramid does just answer. That's cool. I mean, if you can get his phone number, I'm gonna get it from you. Okay, this was like 10 years ago, so I changed his number so that I won't call him again. Anyway, so according to pear bureau Northwest, about 3000 known varieties of pears are grown worldwide. And like lots of other fruits we've discussed pears are normally propagated by grafting whatever variety you want onto a root stock, and that root stock is usually either pear or quince or their flat coppiced. Hi. I don't know if they're coppiced. But I don't think the the plant starts producing blossoms I also learned that quince rootstock makes smaller trees okay so it's sometimes preferred for like you know, residential gardens or things like that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:36
Yeah, when you when you order a pear tree they ask business or residents
anyway for new varieties flowers can be cross bred to produce or preserve you know, desirable quality that
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:47
so everybody get out your Punnett Square. Okay, and let's let's begin coming up with some desirable qualities and crossing okay
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:56
x Wait, is that gonna be you say oh, we're it's like
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:05
two two by two Punnett Square Tic Tac toes. It sounds like a great game.
Anyway, the fruit shape as we have already discussed, varies among species.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:17
You'll be asked I'll be plumpness sort of from
like you can find pairs that are really quite oval or is this ablate that would it would be called
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:27
I think ablate is when I don't know because because ovoid I think you're thinking okay or oval but but ob late because ovoid is when it's when it's a solid ah because an oval is a two dimensional figure I think okay, so overweight is three is if you like you take a basketball and you kind of squash it flatten it
okay so pears can be that okay? Or they can of course be almost fear they can be basketball saw some hurt really looks quite a lot like apples we'll get to that in a second. But then of course the classic pear shape that we tend to think of has an elongated shape toward the stem and a more bulbous blossom end
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:11
okay could we I put a little Mr. entomology near the end but maybe this time yeah read homology to make an appearance.
I got curious about the phrase gone pear shaped Oh, I didn't even think of that. Like but have you heard this phrase before?
Yes, it's like finally know what it means
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:34
well it's like when when like something was like fucked up. Okay, like like you know,
explain this like
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:39
you know, I thought we had a deal but it went pear shaped like or like everything's gone pear shaped I think it's more like using like a general general sense like it's a British
thing. Okay, I'm just trying to picture how going pear shaped is a bad thing
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:52
I show it so when I explain what the leading theory of where this came from, is you're still going to think why is that a bad thing? Because apparently it is a euphemism for the phrase gone tits up
but tits up would be like dead right like like you're prone
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:09
yeah but also but it can also refer to us sit like a situation that like you know is totally screwed up
Is it like has gone upside down yeah, wait tits up is that tits like facing the sky or tits?
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:20
I think it's facing the site down like like a dead like a dead fish.
Face the sky
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:32
look if you if your fish is like upside down in the tank that's when it's dead right? Like it's like floating on its side? Or like I don't know like a dead body. Dead humid Yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:44
Anyway, so so the I believe so the pear shape refers to the shape of the tit in tits up I believe is the leading theory. So like, you know, we're like polite company like grandma's here. We can't say like, you know, like I was making dinner, but like my lasagna went tits up. So we're gonna say it went pear shaped.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:05
I don't know if there's so many steps removed. I don't think it's possible to prove this really. And like there are other other theories, but I like that.
Okay. Okay. No, I like it,
too. As we discussed earlier, Asian pears are a type of pear. They aren't pear shaped at all. They can almost sort of look like some apple varieties like a Russet kind of apple. And Asian pears are native to China, Japan and Korea. So here in a sec, we're going to be talking about European pears, okay. Versus Asian pears, European pair, they have to fight European pairs are picked before they're fully ripe. And oh, yeah. And while they're still green, but apparently ripe and ripe enough to snap off easily when they're like lifted. I couldn't really find information about how this compares or contrasts to non European pears. Okay, but anyway, the idea is you store them at room temperature until they're ripe. You know, they're ripe when the flesh around the stem gives too gentle pluck check.
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:12
And I wish people could see that thing you were just doing with your hand, which was so dirty. But
anyway, and then like, you weren't
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:25
making like a hole with your thumb and forefinger, but somehow it was worse. Yeah.
And then, once they are ripe, you should refrigerate them and eat them, you know, within the next couple days. Okay. Do you Matthew find this harder to gauge then Wikipedia makes it sound?
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:42
Yeah, like, the thing is, you're gonna forget about them, like they take you
to ignoring that, right? Because Because, like,
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:50
Are there other fruits that like are gonna have to sit on your counter for a week, because sometimes it's more than a week, right? And like, somewhere in like, day three or four, you're no longer gonna have like a pair timer in your brain?
Well, and what I find challenging, too, is a type like the boss, right, which we'll talk more about in a second. But a boss really knows that doesn't really develop much of a give at the stem. I had two bosques last week and they were actually both delicious. Okay, the first one that we ate did have a little bit of give the second one I only knew to eat it because the first one was
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:30
good. The first one, like, like nudge gear, like you know, yes, my eat my buddy over here. Not me. Yeah. What is bosky mean?
I think that probably has more to do with like a like a woods. Oh,
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:40
I'm guessing. Yeah. What does it mean?
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:43
I don't know. Is it a word? Yeah. vixa like Bo sky. I think
we got to look this up. You can't just spring stuff like this on me.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:53
You're right. It's not fair to anybody.
I think it has to do with like dark or wooded.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:00
I think you're probably right but i don't know Oh boschi wooded covered by trees or bushes or river meandering between boschi banks.
Oh I like that 16th
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:08
century from Middle English bossk variant of bush
and I under if that's related to I mean I'm sure I wonder if it comes in some way from like Latin or has anything to do with the French bra
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:19
I think probably yeah okay. Anyway
I feel like I have eaten so many under ripe pears in my life yeah then I have had so many pairs that were going to be perfect and when I cut into them they had rotted on the inside Yeah, and
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:31
the thing is you can't take a bite and then if it's not ripe yet just put it back is there any fruit you can do that with not legally but would you do that with at home as opposed to at the office
like you know just with your family around you know in in intimate company No,
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:49
cuz it wouldn't work. Like what do you mean it wouldn't work? Well like you're just gonna put back a pair that has like a like a chunk taken out of it.
I would like so when you get really tired of your CSA Okay, this is
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:01
alright I'm gonna try to maybe maybe I'm being because I feel like the skin is there to like protect it against airborne spores
Oh yeah, I think stuffs gonna go pretty fast Exactly. Yeah, okay all right well anyway three species make up the bulk of all edible pair production so the one that we I think tend to encounter most often that we you know in our grocery stores is some type of the of the European pair Paris communists okay or cameo is a communist pair it is a communist pair. And it's amazing that it's persisted all this time under capitalism and we tried to route out communism That's right. The the European pair this particular subspecies is cultivated mainly in Europe and North America. So you know, I think this probably includes the Bartlett pear the comi song Zhu. Okay, yeah, then there is the Chinese white pair which I've never encountered. It's Do you want to try to pronounce this one?
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:01
Well, yeah, it's pirate x brettschneider. A Yep. It's so presumably it was discovered or named by someone named brettschneider. I this is why this is a really funny, specific name.
And then there's the Nashi pair which is another word for Asian pair and that's pirate pirate folia. Yep. And that's grown mainly in eastern Asia although of course it's also grown you know, at least I know that there are Asian pears grown in Washington. Oh, great success. And then you know within those three species there are 1000s of cultivars, which is how we wind up with you know, Bartlett pears commies on Zoo so bossk so on and so forth.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:43
Yeah, yeah. And you said the other the other types of pair that are not those species are used typically as rootstocks for for their wood Yeah, like for our flute business Yeah. spelled flute.
Yeah spelled flute. Yeah, so Matthew Snyder
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:59
like, is it Latin named Latin you know scientific names are used like consistently throughout the world by by biologists like so this means that there are like Chinese botanist that having a URI? I don't like that.
I don't seem right that doesn't seem right either.
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:19
Do you have Brett Snyder's number
Okay, Matthew so are there so we've talked about you know, a number of different types of pairs. Is there any pairs we haven't talked about?
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:29
We haven't talked about several pairs. Oh yeah, this
little tiny one? Yes.
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:32
So the circle pairs I feel like every once in a while I've come across a really good one but usually they're they like should be cooked maybe.
I tend to think of them as a cooking pair. You know, I kind of I think I've kind of looked at them always like I do like baby artichokes like that looks like a lot of
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:51
work. Yeah, but we got some in our CSA box last year that were very tasty just for eating out of hand. Oh, and they are really cute.
Is it really little and cute. Where are they kind of reddish or kind of? Yeah, rust color. like okay, yeah pretty
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:08
Yeah, they're great for still lifes. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You've talked about like what percentage of pair production goes to still like big big one big one is like getting this shading just right on like the crook of the neck.
I do remember in various art classes I think I have a lot of sketches of pairs corner using them for shading. Well, that's what you just talked about. zoned out a little bit.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:34
So it's good to know that my my artistic spot on Yeah.
So you know, obviously we're going to talk a little bit more about like baking or cooking with pears. But, uh, hold on. I want to I want to stop and talk about pear cider because I know you are a spider man.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:49
I'm a spider man I just made last night. Let's see teenager the show December of flip to the back of the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living and I haven't bought that in ages. Whatever the show Laurie bought it because we love the Halloween ish
Oh That does sound like fun
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:04
yeah yeah there's a really funny Halloween costume of like a baby dressed up as a rabbit being pulled out of a hat so definitely recommend this issue okay and there's a recipe for like a French style stew like a pork stew students cider with big chunks of root vegetables like celery and carrots and and the like finish it with sour cream. It's really good huh?
Have you made it? Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:32
we had it last night we're gonna have the rest tonight. Oh, wow very tasty. Oh, wow. Sorry, sorry, poured like a whole bottle of cider, but it was apple cider, but I couldn't use pear cider.
I have you ever had pear cider made by Eric Bordelais? Yes, I fetch pear cider
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:45
i can i can envision the label right now.
It looks like champagne. Yeah, when it's in a glass It is so delicate and delicious. I hadn't thought about it in a while but it came to mind when I was making the agenda and it seems like the season for that Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:00
when I went to Broadway q FC yesterday to buy cider for the stew I feel like the cider selection had kind of dwindled and I wonder if it's like a supply chain issue or like is cider going out of style?
I don't think ciders going okay style.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:14
That's good. I mean, I want to get some of that kid. Do you have Eric bordelaise number?
I don't even know where I would buy it. I've only had it like in a restaurant.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:26
just sell it in the like in the beer cave beer tunnel at Broadway q FC? Oh yeah. By the Yeah. And they would have the Etienne de Paul also which i think i don't think he makes a pair cider but I'm not sure
that Eric Bordelais one is sold in like a full size like wine bottle right? Yeah, that shit is good that it's really good.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:43
locally. Finn river cider makes a pair cider that's very tasty.
You know, Matthew, I have not spent very much time tasting cider with you. It seems like we should have a cider date or maybe even do a cider.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:55
Yeah, we should have a cider date. Like there's there's a there's a cider bar on Capitol Hill. Like I don't know if we want to like sit outside and drink cider at this point.
And let's discuss it when we're not in front of the listeners. Okay, all right. Okay, so Matthew, do you ever bake or cook with pears?
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:12
No, but I don't really bake much at all.
What about Watson?
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:17
I think like occasionally there's been like a pear cake but like I really when I think about pears I I primarily just think about eating them all right, yeah, that's how I feel you make a ginger ginger and caramelized pear cake
well i mean i i did at one time I haven't made it in a very long time actually. Now that I'm thinking about it I think the recipe a version of the recipe is in a homemade life.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:38
I think why I assume so. Since you said there was a piece about it.
Yeah. Anyway, I think that when I was like really deep in my Frank of filia I definitely did a fair amount of baking with pears so you know, not just the aforementioned ginger cake, but you know, I think of pears and almond paste, showing up in a lot of great French pastry and a pair clap booty is a pretty classic thing. I mean cherry clap for tea is the real classic but yes, paragraph tea is delicious and there was a time back when I was writing for bone appetit. I kept trying to pitch them on a classical tea recipe that used pears and I they were
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:21
like this isn't bone cloth food tea This is bone appetit
it was I think it was exceptionally good because there was brown sugar in the custard instead of white sugar Oh interest so it made for almost like, like a caramel or butterscotch tea tasting custard in which there were delicious soft wedges of pear It was really good I should dig that recipe out
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:43
okay so I can confirm that this recipe is in your book and like there's a whole there's a whole section that I think is is like an adaptation of the stream of consciousness consciousness
thing we published it as it was or not published it at all like I can even see just looking over your your shoulder right now like little ways in which I changed it to make it more grammatical like
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:05
for example, you
put it all in italics I put it all in italics I created sentences where there were only fragments you have this this cake does sound good. Yeah, no, it's it's very good. Like a cake that has sour cream in it. Yeah, no, no, it's great. When you eat pears, do you ever take the skin off? Or do you skin on
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:23
like, I can't think of a fruit that I take the skin off unless there's an obvious one that I'm not thinking of.
Yeah, it's never occurred to me or it would have never occurred to me to ever peel a pear to eat it except that I have a very vivid memory of being at the dinner table with my host family when I was like 20 years old in France. My host mother she as I've mentioned on the show, she was a sales woman for a company that made silicone baking rushes or even a silicone baking pans and things so she very frequently made dessert because She was trying out different recipes to make, you know to be able to pitch this product to people. But when she didn't make dessert, we would usually have fresh fruit for dessert. And I remember the care with which she peeled pears in particular like I'd remember it more specifically than apples. I remember watching her you know, turn the pair in her hand It was like a very beautiful scene. The way she would peel pairs for for one of her two young sons. Yeah, it sounds very maternal that said, I've never failed a pair for my child. You ever watched the show Care Bears when you were a kid? I did. Yeah, absolutely. Did I loved it. It made me feel feel good. I was watching Rainbow Brite Oh, yeah, I forgot about Rainbow Brite anyway, I don't think Yeah, my kid loves pears, but it's never occurred to me to peel them for her. No, that's
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:53
because like you don't love your kid as much as this your friend's house mom
did yeah, that's probably probably wrong. Matthew, you know on the Christmas theme Have you ever actually encountered a partridge in a pear tree?
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:06
I'm so glad you asked. Okay, um, no, I did however, because I wasn't quite sure what a partridge was I looked it up. And and I learned that that Partridge apparently is like a very general term for just like a whole bunch of different species of medium sized birds. Is it like related to grouse? So it said like there are two types to like broad categories of things called Partridge is one group that's more closely related to pheasants and one that's more closely related to chickens. Okay. And I also learned that, that the general category that chickens fall in is called junglefowl. Ah, isn't that great?
When my spouse and I we went to Hawaii earlier this fall for a very belated honeymoon, and we saw the cutest little birds they had a beak almost like a to can in like the shape of it. And they had these white round cheeks and that turns out they're called Java sparrows. Oh, wow. That's great. But anyway, I really love that like, what is it? jungle fowl? jungle fowl over jungle crows? Yes, we saw jungle crows. Yeah, Java sparrows. I love all this.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:11
When I was in elementary school, I went to a private school and the headmaster of the school was Hawaiian. And every year at Christmas, we would have a big assembly and he would sing a he would play the ukulele sing mellie kalikimaka. No, he would sing a Hawaiian version of the 12 Days of Christmas and I don't remember a one. The five was five big fat pigs. The butt number the number one the first day was a minor one minor bird in one papaya tree.
Oh my gosh, minor birds are everywhere. Okay, and they're so grouchy looking.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:49
Yeah, I don't I don't know what a minor bird is. But I know like it makes it's loud.
You know, we encountered these grouse type things. Not a minor bird. We saw a lot of minor birds in Hawaii, but also
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:01
Stone Temple Pilots on grass type thing.
I'd forgotten about that. Yeah, nevermind. I'm done with this story. Okay, Matthew, do you have anything else to say about pears?
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:14
I mean, I think probably if they have a lot of these birds in England, and they have a lot of pear trees, probably sometimes.
There's a partridge Yeah, yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:24
No, I have nothing else to say about Paris.
Okay. Matthew, what's new in the underworld?
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:28
Oh, I'm so glad you asked.
Okay, so first off, I think I think the segment is wrapping up because teenager the show December said that they don't want to give any more spoilers about the game because it's such a good game and they just recommend that everyone play it is we're not sponsored by the game Hades. But it is it's a fun game. So if you like video games, or if you want to, if you want to see if you like them, this is a great game to play.
So what's new in the underworld is going the way of colonic quilts. It's going it's going pear shaped cute animals you need to know
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:04
Yes. However, I do still have a report, which is that wife of the show Laurie and I were out for a walk the other day, and there's a house that's being torn down like a two blocks from us. And they have been like digging up the yard a while doing the demolition and they left like a big hole in the yard. And clearly, a construction person was like, well, we can't just leave this hole here. Like what if someone falls in and we get sued? So what they did was they took like a random door and kind of haphazardly laid it over this hole in the dirt. It looks like the door to hell. It's I laughed so hard, but I just joy there's like shitty door, like halfway across this big hole in the ground. Just like Yep, if I was if I was a kid, I'd be like, oh, like we need to go down there. Right away Yeah,
that's excellent. All right. Do
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:03
we have any spilled mail?
I don't know. Why don't you tell me?
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:13
My name is Steven. This is me being this is from Lister Steven. Okay. My name is Steven and I have a question for you both what is the best and worst single person purpose kitchen appliance and why is it the waffle maker? Also what is the most underrated kitchen appliance?
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:30
so Oh my gosh,
okay, well hold on first about waffle makers. I do not understand why they're so hard to clean. Like, what the hell waffle companies. So I mean, I love my waffle maker. It's made by Villa where I think I got it as a wedding gift in my first marriage. It's like 14 years old for
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:50
a year before your husband bought the farm.
It's fantastic, but it is impossible to clean I'm getting shrill here
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:00
like the like the trough around the edge that's hard to clean because I never felt like I had to clean the actual waffle
though because it gets like weird like fat like rancid stuff
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:14
can I just pretend that it doesn't
I mean even like a cast iron skillet right you're gonna like wipe it down yeah
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:20
but like i mean i i can wipe it with a paper I can wipe
it with a paper towel but if I want to actually like get rid of any like little droplets of you know leftover fat or whatever I've got to get like a paper towel and then a chopstick to press the paper towel in.
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:36
I mean it seems like they probably make like a waffle iron cleaning tool.
That seems like the worst single kitchen Okay,
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:44
we got it that would be like a big package of like absorbent pads that are that fit perfectly into your waffle maker just closed on here that you throw it away.
Yeah, yeah, okay. Okay, wait a minute. Take it away Go ahead.
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:58
The best single purpose kitchen appliance appliance is the rice cooker. I know you can make all sorts of things in a rice cooker so it's not truly single purpose but like you're never taken away my rice cooker and I only use it to cook rice. Okay, okay, the I feel like we get this kind of question sometimes like you know, we had someone asked like we would do an episode on like poorly engineered food products and like if something's bad I just kind of forget about it.
Right to me too. It's kind of the opposite of criticism,
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:26
right? No, no Yeah, I definitely remember like every time I ever like was embarrassed or failing something like shame is serious. But but like if I got a kitchen appliance that didn't work out like you know I did get rid of the the Panini press just wasn't using it. I have this milk foaming pitcher that Oh yeah, you gotta use her for a child latte episode. It was tea lattes episode something like that. I think I've used it like three or four times and not in the last year so it's probably gonna go
okay, I was for a second tempted to ask you if I could have it and then I decided I don't want it. Yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 48:05
Oh, I just got rid of a deep fryer. Oh, yeah. Okay, I'm
trying to think for me the best single use kitchen appliance is
Matthew Amster-Burton 48:16
I mean a toaster oven is multi use right to
use Yeah, um, instant pot is multi use.
Matthew Amster-Burton 48:22
It's a multi cooker, maybe you just don't have a single use appliance. Or maybe it's the waffle maker.
Well the waffle maker is yeah I'm struggling here I mean I can also think about like coffee making devices okay like an aeropress well so we have in our household three different coffee making devices. Sure. Okay, we have an espresso machine that I've had for probably like 10 years and that this is a real problem for me Matthew. Okay, it's a really good espresso machine it was not new when I got it it's like the kind of thing that my ex husband makes the rest just kidding he's alive and well yeah, but he bought the farm Yeah. Anyway, he is really good at finding like the best version of a thing it's like you know vintage or whatever then you have to maintain then you have to maintain it so yeah, I can't I really as much as I got pretty good at making myself a really good shot of espresso or Americano in this thing. I can even do it when June was a baby and was like in a carrier on me like I really this was the time lightly steamed she could even sleep through the sound of the machine that's
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:34
right like man holding a shot it's so great like when it when a baby's sleep so soundly that it's impossible to wake them up and that that period does not last long enough. No
it does not. Anyway, but at a certain point, you know, like whatever the calibration of my grinder was wrong but then it seemed like Actually the problem was the the espresso machine and now I think it probably needs to be deeply cleaned. And I just can't deal with it. And so it lives in the closet. I think Don't want to get rid of it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:01
I don't know. Grindr. I think there's an app for that.
Oh my god. Okay, anyway, but now we have an aeropress and just a cheap little pour over dripper and I use the pour over dripper every day. Ash uses the aeropress every day. I think those are your best. Those are our best. Yeah, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:22
don't have an idea for the most underrated kitchen appliance. So I'm gonna say rice cooker.
Okay, I think that's fair. All right, fair. I'm really excited about my now but wow, this week.
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:39
So I have to I'm very familiar with this. Oh,
you are? Oh my gosh, okay. Well, so last week, my spouse and I made a joke or kanji. And we tried a new recipe and I did not love it. Okay, so I was doing a whole bunch of googling and came upon a YouTube channel called made with loud that's l au. I had never encountered it before. And I started watching the video for like what they described as their perfect canggih. And I was so charmed so I went down a real rabbit hole of learning more about this YouTube channel.
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:16
Tell me about it because I only know a very little bit I even
watched like a little mini documentary. Oh, that's great. I think it was like maybe made by YouTube for you know, promoting YouTube or whatever. Anyway, so made with Lau is a YouTube channel and an website that is filled with classic Chinese recipes taught in a home kitchen by this older man who is referred to on the on the show as daddy laughs I feel uncomfortable. But anyway, the site was created by his adult son Randy Lau quite recently in September 2020. Yeah, so things were really precarious for the family. Randy was out of work because of COVID-19 his wife was expecting a baby. And he decided to kind of take this passion of his which I think was like video storytelling, to try doing some video storytelling on YouTube both, you know, like as a possible income stream and a hard time and as a way to preserve the traditions of his dad's cooking, for whatever reason, decided to refer to his dad as daddy Lau on the show. And daddy Lau is a former restaurant her and chef and is the star of the videos and he demonstrates the recipes in Cantonese with subtitles and voiceover by Randy and at the end you get to watch them like sitting around the table eating in a way that feels really authentic. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 52:41
the recipes are really good. It's like real classic Cantonese home cooking.
Yeah, yeah. So I am going to be making daddy loughs perfect. canggih this week actually with chicken. Okay, let me Yeah, and I can't wait to do it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 52:55
I bet it's good. And I'm gonna try it next.
My favorite little detail about the made with our YouTube channel is the thumbnails for each video feature a picture of the finished dish with a little photo of daddy loughs like head Yep, head and neck, outlined in yellow. And he I think he in each of them. He has what seems to be like an enthusiastic expression. But it's a very, like, a very, like, ambiguous. It's like I love it. Anyway, he is a delight. And it feels really intimate and I'm so happy for their success. Yeah, and it's really taken off.
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:36
Yeah. youtube.com slash c slash made with Lau La La you Yes, yes. Our producer is Abby circuit tele
indeed. And you can rate and review this show wherever you get your podcasts.
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:48
You can hang out with other people who listen to the show and chat about it on Reddit and reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. And once again, you know Happy Holidays to everyone. We will see you on candy cane lane. We need to we need to start putting up our lights. We're decorating. We have a house. Oh you do? You and I Oh for the purposes of this bit. Oh house and we're gonna decorate it. It's gonna be like the, you know, the 500 days of spilled milk.
Oh, what day is the partridge in a pear tree?
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:23
That's that's that was our first episode. Oh, how to steam a whole Partridge in a Pear.
First you get a big pot first. You
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:31
get a really big pot.
Yeah. And then you invite daddy Lau over and he shows you the right way to do
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:37
it. Okay, I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.
And I'm Molly weissenberg.
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:46
Like the times when you think back on the times, you've left someone at the altar. Yeah. What was the what was the decision process?
Oh, well, it was always like, do I wanna? It seems like a lot. trouble to put on this wedding dress. Do I right do it or not? Well, but
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:03
you wouldn't Did you so you showed up at the altar not wearing a wedding dress? No, I just
decided not to go at all.