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You may have been seeing a lot of references to the 12 Days of Christmas this time of year. I know that I have. These references generally are a 12 day countdown without reference to the actual lyrics of the classic Christmas Carol.
You may or may not know that the 12 days of Christmas actually begins on Christmas Day and runs through Jan 6, or Three Kings Day. The Shakespeare play, 12th Night, is based on the revelry associated with the celebration of the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. While traditionally Christians have thought that the Wise Men came 12 days after the birth of Christ, it probably took them much longer than that to get there.
The lyrics to the song are actually very symbolic! The reference to "My True Love" actually refers to Jesus Christ. The symbol of the partridge comes from the idea that the partridge is a bird that will sacrifice itself to save its children. For more information about all of the symbols, you can read this article, which I found fascinating!
Anywho, here at 3 Winks, we decided that it would be really fun to come up with a recipe for each verse of the song, The 12 Days of Christmas! We looked at the actual lyrics and decided what we could bake or cook or whip up to match the lyrics of that day! We are writing this before Christmas, so that if you want to celebrate the actual 12 Days, you will have the recipes in advance!
I took the assignment of The First Day of Christmas, obviously! When we discussed A Partridge in a Pear Tree, Lindsey suggested Poire Belle Helene because "poire" is the French word for "pear", and I am Helen. (The French version of my name should have accents aigue and grave over the first 2 "e"s but I don't know how to put them there on a English speaking keyboard.) Anyway, we decided that this was a beautiful and simple dessert that would be perfect for the first day of Christmas!
This poached pear dish was created in 1864 by Auguste Escoffier in honor of the opera La Belle Helene. There are various methods with different flavors added to the liquid in which the pears are poached. This recipe uses cinnamon and cloves in a sugar syrup. Then, the pears are topped with a rich chocolate sauce and served with ice cream on the side. Very fancy! I used my delicious Hot Fudge Sauce that I have given you the recipe for on this post. When I went to serve this beautiful dessert, I found that I was out of vanilla ice cream! So, what you are seeing in the photo is Spumoni! Very holiday-ish! It was so good!
I hope that you give this simple yet elegant recipe a try! Be sure to come back tomorrow for The 2nd Day of Christmas!
If you don't want to poach pears, canned might make a simple alternative.
Links to Days 2-12:
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!