Chamomile Chocolate sauce with Pears

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry,
As you twist the stem of a pear, recite the names until the stem comes off.
You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

OK, originally it’s meant to be an apple! Though today I’d like to share with you a pear recipe, that I first shared in my column for Families First. If you’re single, it’s a fun thing to do. If you’re not single, how about this one….

Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed.
Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem.
That is the number of children you will have!
Perhaps again, this is best taken with a pinch of salt, however, remembering the innocence and perspective of believing in these kinds of things wasn’t that long ago for me! Isn’t believing in someone part of being in love? Feeling comfortable, accepting each other, for good and bad, and being able to forgive with patience? 
The term to “love unconditionally” comes to mind – I am sure true love is unconditional – you cannot switch love off – thank goodness. Swans may teach us a thing or to about love! They partner for life and once bonded, the male and female affirm and support each other in all things. They build their nest together. They share egg sitting so each has feeding and brooding breaks and defend them from all predators. If one of the pair dies, the other often lives out the rest of his or her life alone. The love and loyalty of these birds is beautiful.

I read this earlier and wanted to share it with you – it sums up love as well as I’ve ever read anywhere:
“I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.” Keith Sweat
So to bring strength and nourishment try this calming and cleansing recipe, it is a love pudding if ever there was. Chamomiles delicate flavour laces the chocolate sauce with a subtle suggestion of warmth and velvet. Vanillas light musky scent balances the deep dewiness of the pears perfectly, serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and enjoy.
Food appeals to all five senses, and evokes vivid memories that become unending. Why not cook for someone you love today? Take total pleasure in doing so AND more importantly celebrate FUN. Whether that be with your husband, your wife, your best friend, your child, whoever it is, I hope YOU have a lovely day.
Now and always!
Lots of love,
FFXOX
Chamomile Chocolate sauce with Pears 
SERVES 4
Chamomile teabags, 4
Sweet freedom/ fruit sugar, 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
Cardamom pod, 1 bashed
Cinnamon sticks, 1
Dark chocolate, 100g at lease 70% cocoa solids
Pears, 4 cored, peeled and sliced
Butter, a knob
Greek yogurt (optional)
ADD teabags, sweet freedom/ fruit sugar, vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pod to 300ml of boiling water in a bowl.
BREW for 5 minutes.
PREPARE pears.
REMOVE teabags and pour liquid into a small saucepan.
BOIL over a high heat until reduced and syrup like, roughly 15 minutes.
MELT knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan.
FRY pears with an extra sprinkling of fruit sugar until caramelised.
TAKE syrup off heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.
SERVE caramelised pears with chocolate sauce and a dollop of Greek Yogurt.

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