The Internet and the Pear

How to make Toffee

1. Decide to make pear preserve after a friend sends over a  bag of pears from her garden. Wash out your prettiest jars in anticipation of filling them with luscious pear jelly.

2. Read half a dozen recipes for pear preserve  on the internet and come to the conclusion that the time you slow cook the pears and sugar doesn’t matter because the recipes vary widely.

3. Put the pears and sugar on the stove, sit down to watch TV with Advaith and find that you can’t stir because he has fallen asleep on your lap.

4. More than an hour later, find a caramelized sticky black mass on the stove with little hard bits of pear buried inside.

5. Strain out the pear bits, covert the caramel into kamarkat and toffee.

An easier method to make kamarkat can be found here.

Lesson learnt from this exercise:

Jelly, jam and preserves are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin.  The difference between them comes in the form that the fruit takes.

Specifically, the fruit in jelly comes in the form of fruit juice. Jam, on the other hand, uses fruit pulp or crushed fruit, which explains why it’s “less stiff” than jelly. Finally, in fancy-pants preserves, the fruit comes in syrup-laden chunks.  Marmalade typically is a citrus-based preserve, sometimes containing the rind, but other fruits can be used.

Pears have lots of websites devoted to them and I should study them before assuming that the longer you boil fruit, the softer it gets.

So, that information can be got so easily from Ask yahoo! is the good part

And that one can get so confused by an over load of information is the bad part.

But,  Im here talking to you is the very good part.


4 thoughts on “The Internet and the Pear

  1. your kamarkat makes me nostalgic . St Josephs , the street outside and those old men crowding around in the evening with kamarkat , toffee watches , sliced mango . In the morning there would be women selling red roja poovu , labels and those pictures of good men like Gandhi , Nehru and Netaji . All with that improbable look of purpose and with pink lips .

  2. Meena, that is a wonderful description of life outside school. I liked that very original last line.
    “All with that improbable look of purpose and with pink lips .”
    Meant to inspire all of us but sadly didnt do much.

    The kadalai mittai I made was less mittai and more like the toffee in our school canteen, dark, gooey, viscous and very sticky.

    Those striped watches were forbidden but so tempting. And that coloured ice !!

  3. Another lesson from the exercise – Jellies need more care than jams and require total attention. When you have something ( in this case someone) that deserves more and total attention – do not attempt it! Simpler to buy it from a store.

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