14 November 10 • SCB

I was chatting with a friend this week about being a home cook—which is to say, someone who cooks most of their meals from scratch at home. We were in agreement that while we loved trying new things and mastering a new method or recipe, it’s the stand-by things that we make week after week, free from multi-step recipes and fancy ingredients, that really sustain us and make it all possible.

In our house, there are brothy soups, stews, pastas, pizzas, hashes and quiches made week after week with what’s on hand, what’s in season and often what was on sale at the market. These are all made intuitively or are a riff on something I’ve made before. It has taken me years to get here, to this place of comfort and ease in the kitchen, but I can see now that it is the most economical and pleasurable way for us to eat. I am not the most skilled cook or the most innovative cook, but I am someone who is cooking everyday, and that’s what is important to me right now.

I’ve written about crisps before. We eat them for breakfast (warmed with a dollop of greek yogurt) as well as dessert. The topping can be doubled or tripled and stored in the freezer for a quick fix. This week I had a bunch of just-ripe pears from my produce delivery and nub of ginger around, so ginger pear crisp is what I popped into the oven. Bonus—it made my house smell amazing.

Ginger Pear Crisp
6 ripe, but firm pears, peeled and sliced (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Crisp topping (or use the crisp topping of your choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss pears with sugar, lemon and ginger. Place in 9 x 11 buttered baking dish. Cover with crisp topping. Bake until browned and bubbly. About 40 minutes (less for smaller crisps). Serve warm.