As I think I previously mentioned, one of my fellow students in the adult education Spanish class I'm taking is one of those token older gentlemen who sits in the front row and continually raises his hand to ask questions and/or share stories that may or may not have anything to do with what we're talking about. He continually astounds me with his ability to be both unbelievably annoying and thoroughly delightful, usually at the same time. The other day, he started asking the teacher if she wanted any pears from his pear tree (this is, of course, a liberally abridged version of his question, the original containing plentiful anecdotes on such subjects as fertilizing the tree, how many bushels of fruit he'd already collected, and the extent to which he was at a loss as to what to do with all of it). After class he wandered across the aisle and asked the older woman sitting next to me the same question. As he started to leave, I hesitatingly spoke up (I try to talk in that class as little as possible... it's pretty much 7th grade all over again) and said that I would be happy to take some pears off his hands. He stops and gapes for a moment, and then looks absolutely tickled and exclaims, "Well sure! I didn't ask you because most young ladies today don't know how to cook." See what I mean? Annoying and delightful. The next class he shows up wheeling a big plastic cooler full of pears on a handcart, hands me a garbage bag and tells me to git going and dig in.
This evening I have a potluck event that I decided last night at 11pm to use the pears to make a ginger-pear crisp for. In case you've never washed, cored, and chopped dozens of tiny, rock-hard pears, prepared a crisp, baked it, and simultaneously watched the BBC version of "Fingersmith"... turns out the whole process takes about 4 and a half hours. Who knew? When I went to bed I stored the crisp in the oven because it was too hot to cover, and my alarm rang so soon afterwards that my crisp hadn't even cooled fully. Now that, my friends, is just plain sad.
Now I'm off to my potluck, and if people don't eat my crisp I'm holding that old man entirely responsible for my four hours of sleep. And for the infestation of ants that I discovered in my bag of candied ginger. Just because.