Let us break bread together on our knees / Josh Garrels
There’s only one thing I want in 2014, and it’s summed up in that song lyric above. May my hands be breaking bread with more friends on their knees, may I be the sort of person who default-drops to her knees, may I lean ever harder and surer on the One who’s always loved me.
May I make six-course New Year’s Day lunches with my husband and his brother, which start with pear stacks like these, and see them – even those sweet, refreshing small plates – from the broader, larger view of being part of a broader, larger story, one that I am not the author of.
May I rejoice in the beauty of a pretty plate because it points to a greater Beauty I was made to see, may I rejoice in the work of planning because I am loved by a Greater Planner who’s never weary, may I run to Him and cling to Him and not waste another moment thinking anything, ever, could even hope to fill me more.
Sometime last winter or spring, I read Edith Schaeffer’s Hidden Art, a book that impressed upon me many ideas, but none more notable than the concept that there is value in pursuing beauty, even beauty in a pear plate.
I think about that with a recipe like this one because it’s pure assembly, no cooking or baking required, and even the assembly is aimed at presentation rather than purpose.
The pears would taste the same, sliced, and topped with sweetened ricotta, but the stacking makes them special. People are always talking, around the holidays, about making things special and doing things special, but I rather like the idea of special on a random day in January, just you and your husband and his brother.
It’s a simple, humble act of love to take 10 minutes to assemble pear stacks, but it is an act of love, no doubt about that, and so there’s joy in it.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.