Tuesday 26 January 2010

The Parable of the Pear Tree . . .

Once upon a time, there was a man who had four sons. He wanted each of them to learn to judge things carefuly, so he sent each one on a questio to look at a pear tree in a far and distant land. The first son went in Winter, the second son in Spring, the third son in Summer and the youngest son in Autumn.

After they had returned home, he asked each to describe what they had seen.

The first son went and came back, stating that the tree was ugly and twisted, and of no possible use.

The second son, upon his return, said that it was covered with green buds and just full of promise.

Upon the third son's return, he reported that it was filled with sweet and fragrant blossoms, and very beautiful indeed.

The last son disagreed with all of them and related that it's branches were heavy with ripe fruit.

The father listened to each of them carefully upon their returns. When the last one had gone and come and spoken . . . he called them all together. He pointed out to them that each of them had been correct in their observations of the tree, but that they had each seen only one season of the tree's life. He then went on to explain that we cannot judge others or circumstances until all the pieces of the puzzle are available to us, to present a complete picture. We must never judge others too quickly, or on the basis of one encounter. To do so is unfair and unwise. All living things should be evaluated only after observation over a course of time, and only after repeated careful inspection. You just never know when something which looks dry and ugly will turn into something beautiful, which bears wonderful and delicious fruit.

I think this parable is a wonderful little reminder to us that we shouldn't give up when we are going through the Winters in our lives . . . for in doing so, we risk missing the promise of Spring, the beauty of Summer, and the fulfillment of Autumn. ☺

A tasty recipe here today, French in origin. It uses an old fashioned cut of beef . . . the brisket. Slowly braised with carrots and onions, it's very easy to execute and always turns out tender and moist. All you need to serve with it is perhaps some mashed potatoes and a salad, and you will have a meal fit for a King. At least it was fit for the King of this castle!

*Boeuf Aux Carrotes*
(Braised Beef Brisket with Carrots)
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a lovely meal that requires very little effort. You end up with meltingly tender beef with a rich broth, sweet and buttery in flavour from the carrots. I served it with a celeriac/potato mash and some lightly steamed haricots verts. (green beans)

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

3 pounds of rolled beef brisket

1 pound of carrots, peeled and trimmed

2 ounces bacon lardons

1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 fresh bay leaf

1 sprig of fresh thyme

1 small leafy celery stalk

2 cups dry white wine, or unsweetened apple juice

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 TBS of the olive oil in a large roaster on top of the stove. (Use one with a fitted lid) Add the brisket and brown it slowly on all sides. Once browned, remove it to a plate, salt it generously and then set it aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the roaster and add the carrots, 1 tsp of salt and cook, stirring them occasionally, until they are browned. This will take from 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Put the lardoons and onions into the roaster and then cook them over high heat until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, celery, beef and carrots. Pour in the wine or juice, and add water almost to cover. Bring to the boil. Skim off any foam that may surface, then top with the lid and roast in a pre-heated oven at 150*C/300*F. Roast for 3 hours, turning the meat over at least once during the cooking time.

Remove from the oven and take the meat out of the liquid. Let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting in thin slices to serve, accompanied with the carrots and lovely juices spooned over top. Delicious!

There are some scrummy Parmesan and Pinenut Muffins over on The English Kitchen this morning!


  1. Good morning Marie! I loved that parable and how true it is! The brisket looks delicious even first thing in the morning, I shall be making that for sure.
    Seems like I am first to comment...that's a first in itself! ~~~Love, Pat

  2. I have read the parable before Marie but so ture it is.I love Brisket,like you sayit's so easy to cook too.I hope you have a lovely day.The temps here have dropped once more to freezing,so if you have any leftovers of the wonderful brisket meal,please send them round to warm me up He-He.Much appreciated LOL!!Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  3. Love the post. HAve the very best day.

  4. I love parables. They do teach us a lot. Sometimes the obvious is not apparent to us until someone else points it out. I do hope your Tuesday is a terrific one!

  5. A very good lesson to learn, Marie. Thanks for sharing.
    It's a timely post for us becuase we have been learning about different kinds and symbolisms of trees.

    Have a blessed day!

  6. We love brisket and I have my favorite recipe but I'll have to try this one and those muffins . . . those look yummy!

  7. Marie I like this piece. It is so important to get all the facts before judging something. Sometimes our human quality of jumping to conclusions really limits us. One of the dangers is once we form an opinion it is often impossible to change it. Perspective is a curious thing, isn't it?

  8. Beautiful..I love that parable. Thank you for sharing!


  10. what a great story-it really makes ya think!

  11. Marie I think one of the biggest mistakes we make, and women seem to make it more often than men, is judging people based on one meeting. I loved this story because it illustrates that so beautifully. blessings, marlene

  12. Another nice story with a message for us to remember.

    I am glad that I got to talk for you a little while today. How I love to hear your voice.

    I hope that Todd is feeling better and your back got better and let you sleep. I hope.... I hope

  13. Great message, and how very true. I so look forward to these little stories and parables you find to share with us.


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