Last night was my annual Christmas party; it was a blast and I am not just saying that because I threw it but we always have so much fun eating, drinking and singing around the piano. Once we make it through all the usual festive Christmas songs out comes Billy Joel, Elton John, James Taylor show tunes and even Abba yes we rocked Super Trouper. We generally average around 50-60 people, some stay a couple of hours, most stay for several hours and some even stay the night. Last night we had a full house; there was a no vacancy sign out front (if we had one) for the tower 🙂 as you can tell SF I am borrowing your comment from this morning. Another comment from one of my overnight guests “I should blog about this” on how to throw an awesome party; thanks for thinking so BF.
My best recommendation is prep prep prep as much as you can the day before; and finish everything off the day of the party and that includes having breakfast mostly completed before the party. No one wants to make breakfast for 12-15 people while nursing a little after party slowness. A couple of breakfast casseroles, a bread item and some fresh fruit as well as coffee and juice and voila!
Here is a bread item that was a nice surprise for me. Sometimes I guess you can call it over prepping; I have a grand plan of making something different to serve a crowd and I just never get there, this past Thanksgiving it was poached pears, mind you for the first time and I just ran out of steam, time and ambition; it happens to the best of us. What to do with a dozen pears that you know were going to all ripen at the same time; you can only eat so many pears in a day. I personally am not a fan but my guys love them; but even they were done after day 2. I put them in the fridge to slow them down a bit but time was ticking. Poaching pears was out, now they were only good for a baked good or the trash or maybe the compost pile, yeah so far we here in New Hampshire are having a crazy mild December. I know I will regret putting that in writing. If this winter is anything like last winter, we are in for some serious weather come January.
I looked online to see what others had done with their over ripen pears and where I have seen many a pear cake recipe I have never heard of pear bread I figured why not? We love banana bread and zucchini bread. I was not disappointed, it was moist, flavorful and a bonus was I didn’t have to throw away any pears. I really didn’t have a backup plan if this didn’t work out. Our usual use for fruit on its last leg is to make a smoothie for breakfast but I didn’t even photograph my pears for you, they were pretty ugly.
The bread was a hit with the family and I would make it again no questions asked. though I didn’t make this for this mornings breakfast; I would have if I had leftover pears.
Pear Bread – makes 2 loaves
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (about 4 medium)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions pre-heat oven to 350’
In a large bowl or your mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and soda. Stir into the egg mixture just till moistened. Toss pears with lemon juice stir pears and walnuts into the batter.
Fill about half way into 2 greased 9×5 in loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks. Freezes well too!