Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Know What I Like

When we bought our house many years ago it was stained a nasty dark, dark brown. It hadn't had any treatment in 15 years and you could scrape a nail over the siding and get to bare wood. Something had to be done. My husband sanded the entire house with a hand-held orbital sander (that's what he had and it worked, but it took a loooong time), we brushed primer over the whole thing. Twice. And then we painted it a lovely light blue with a greyish undertone. New Zealand Lake, the color was called.

Our house has stayed that same color for about 20 years. We'd repaint a side of the house as it needed it, but the look stayed the same.

This year it was time to paint again and my husband decided it was time for a change. He wanted to go grey. I agreed, so long as it wasn't a really dark, lowering grey, the tone that says Communist East German government housing.

We went together to the paint store, debating over swatches. This one was too dark, that one was too yellow, and then we found one that was just right. Light grey with a blue undertone. Perfect! We bought 15 gallons and brought it home, set up our ladders and drape cloths and began to paint. Wait just a doggone's the same color. The exact same color! We couldn't even tell where we'd started painting or where we'd left off.

If you're a Red Dwarf fan, you'll know what I mean when I say that we went from Ocean Grey to Military Grey.

Well, at least we know what we like. And one thing I like is this pear bread. It's super easy to make and stays moist and delicious for a week. So in case you're working on an onerous task like painting your house, you can make it early in the morning when it's still cool and then have painting break snacks for several days. Unless you're smart like us and import help (son and nephew). Then it'll be gone in a day.

Pear Bread
- adapted from America’s Best Recipes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt*
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla etract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped pear (about 3 pears)
1 cup chopped pecans

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Thoroughly grease 2 9-x-5-inch loaf pans (or 4 mini loaf pans, or 1 large and 2 small).

2- In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed. Add yogurt and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

3- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

4- Gently fold in the chopped pears and pecans.

5- Spoon the batter into the loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes for large loaves, 45 minutes for small loaves, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 large loaves or 4 small loaves

* I used Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt and it was delicious! You can click on the link to get a coupon, if you'd like to try it.


Bellini Valli said...

I had the exact same experience when painting the bathroom and then the kitchen. They turned out to be the exact same colours.

Melinda said...

Funny! I am particularly bad at choosing the right colour I want without painting a whole wall first and then deciding it is all wrong! Colour looks very different once it is a great big chunk of it to stare at.
I just love watching other people paint! Pear bread sounds very good for a tea break.

VeggieGirl said...

Always love your stories :-) I've thankfully had luck with painting rooms in my house, haha.

Scrumptious bread variety!!

Peabody said...

As someone who was lucky enough to recieve some of this bread...make this everyone, it was AWESOME!!!

LyB said...

Hehe! Love the story, Lynn! I can see myself doing the same thing, I'm not big on change, I guess. The pear bread sounds wonderful, it'd be a nice change from the banana loaves I've been making lately. ;)

Heidi said...

I've never had pear bread. this looks wonderful!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Never thought to add pears to bread--but bread with any fruit addition is great, so I should try this soon!

Elle said...

Great sounding bread...perfect to reward painting helpers. Love the story about the blue-gray paint and the gray-blue paint. At least you both like the same color, too.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Love the story about the paint! Usually there's so much arguing going on about what color to choose! Its great that you both like the same color, and so much that even after 15 years, you want the same one!! The bread looks delicious, I must try it!

ToyLady said...

I am a Red Dwarf fan, and, oddly enough, I had occasion to use another Red Dwarf reference myself today! ("Everybody's dead, Dave. Everybody. Is. Dead.")

And the pear bread sounds wonderful - brings back memories from my teenage years when we had, literally, bushels of pears to use, and we used them in anything that had originally been intended for applesauce. . .

Jane said...

Love your writing, your recipes, and your beautiful photos. Very nice blog indeed!


eatme_delicious said...

This looks like the most perfect loaf! I love how the top and edges look - I bet they were deliciously crisp when first baked mmm. I would steal those pieces. Definitely saving this recipe for fall!

Maria said...

I love that Greek yogurt, fabulous loaf of bread!

Rose&Thorn said...

LOL - That's exactly like us, we always go back to the same colour, even if it has a different name!
Pear are in season now in South Africa, so I am definitely going to try this as a change from the normal banana bread we have.

Karine said...

That is the first time I hear about a pear bread recipe and it sounds delicicous!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Pears are such a novel idea. They must make that cake powerful.

Chris Simon said...

I have a half bath and master bedroom that are exactly the same color of blue, chosen nearly two years apart.

Kate said...

I came across this post on Foodshots and simply had to get the recipe as I am currently in love with pears in bread. Then I read the reference to Red Dwarf and about fell off my chair. NO ONE understands or even knows about that spouse and son are obsessed with it. Whenever we have something comical happen to us, there's always someone who says 'Hey, that happened on Red Dwarf.'

Great blog by the way!!