I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. Not in a ‘the lines have to be straight’ kind of way but more ‘just fix that little bit, and that little bit, and that other little bit because they’re driving me mad’. Details and I were best friends for years, or so I thought.
The predisposition to perfection — call it low-level OCD if you must — is terribly handy for activities such as folding fitted sheets (I have the most organised linen cupboard ever, to RJ’s chagrin I never quite make it to the rest of the clutter) and making layer cakes. However perfection is a terrible mistress when it comes to actually making.things.happen. Not surprisingly, I never felt comfortable putting something out into the world until it was just-so.
As a result I’ve started, and worked my butt off, at a number of projects through the years, only to tuck them into drawers and onto shelves just as it came to that final hurdle of launching. Because something got in the way. Because some detail was not just so. Because an element or two weren’t perfect. I’m sure many of those endeavours weren’t meant to be, but a few still haunt me…
So in recent years, trying to actively get over the need for perfect has been a very conscious goal. I now try to look at ventures as perpetual works in progress, akin to renovations on an old farmhouse — or you know, life — undertakings that may or may not ever reach perfection but will hopefully make me, and others, smile along the way. It’s not an easy evolution but I’m getting there.
Ok, ok I hear you saying, “yes, we get you’re all introspective and full of navel gazing — have you been drinking wine? — but what does this have to do with anything?”
Well I’m so glad you asked! If you follow me on social media you may have seen a mention (or hundred) of my latest creative venture. It’s been driven by a return to an old hobby, and I’m pleased to say it has finally seen the light of day.
This past Monday I officially launched The Decadent Pantry to the world.
Applause, applause! All this for me? Oh thank you, thank you! But I digress.
You see, it would have been so easy to delay. The pictures weren’t how I wanted them, there wasn’t enough stock, Mercury was only just out of retrograde, I’d only had a couple of VIP access orders to work out the kinks, and a thousand other things.
Maybe I should have waited another few days, until I got back from a workshop in mid-June, until that next kiln load was ready — but I didn’t want to delay on yet another project, I wanted to jump. So I jumped, and let me tell you, done feels so much better than perfect.
Done feels so much better than perfect.
Before I knew it pretty things were off to all ends of the country. It makes me smile and it seems to be making others smile as well. Of course packing and shipping may do me in yet but RJ says it’s not an option to quit now — I may make him handle the fulfillment — ha.
As for what all this has to do with crepes and mulled wine poached pears? Well not much, aside from the fact that all the ceramics used in the photos are items I’ve made for The Decadent Pantry.
But do you really need a reason for a syrupy tumble of poached pears that just so happen to create a perfectly acceptable excuse for having mulled wine at brunch? I didn’t think so.
Of course if you’re interested in handmade ceramics created for form and function — because one wants to eat lunch after taking photos of it — make sure to follow @decadentpantry on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, check out #TheDecadentPantry hashtag, and join our mailing list to be the first to know about shop updates and special offers! I’ll see you there ~ x JJ
Spelt Crepes & Mulled Wine Poached Pears
There’s something so perfect about a meal that can be eaten any time from mid-morning well into the afternoon, and as easily in the heat of summer as the cooler days of autumn that serve as a persistent reminder that winter is well on the way. Of course there are few better ways to hide away from the impending cold months than with hot mulled wine — and using it for brunch may be one of the best ideas I’ve had in ages.
For the crepes:
- 1 ½ cups almond milk (370ml)
- ¾ cup water (187ml)
- 3 eggs
- 3 tsp oil
- 1 ½ cups white spelt flour (165g)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
For the pears:
- 4 firm pears
- 1 cup red wine (250ml)
- ½ cup orange juice (125ml)
- 2 cups strong tea (500ml)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 slice fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (40ml)
To make the crepe batter whisk together milk, water, eggs and oil. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Allow batter to rest while you make the pears.
Peel pears, cut in half and remove core. Place in a medium saucepan with all remaining ingredients (wine through syrup) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
If you have time, cool pears in poaching liquid before removing — if not, remove while hot. Either way, bring poaching liquid without pears back to the boil and keep at a vigorous simmer for 20-30 minutes until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup. Pour a spoonful or two of the syrup over the pears before straining the rest into a serving jug.
Preheat a crepe pan or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and wipe with a lightly oiled paper towel. Pour in a scant ¼ cup crepe batter and swirl pan to coat evenly. Cook 90 seconds, flip and cook a further 90 seconds. Repeat process until all batter has been used.
To serve, fold crepes in quarters and stack 3 or 4 on a plate. Top crepes with slices of poached pear, mulled wine syrup, and a dollop of yoghurt/coconut cream/ice cream/whipped ricotta if you wish.
- Black tea or chai tea work well, but for a deeper red colour use a fruit tea that contains hibiscus flowers.
- Wine can be substituted with an equal quantity of tea or fruit juice. If using juice you may want to reduce the maple syrup to account for the extra sweetness.
- Pears and crepe batter can both be made in advance — reheat pears in syrup before serving, allow batter to sit at room temperature for 30 mins before cooking.
vegetarian // whole-grain // soy-free // dairy-free