While thumbing through our ever-growing collection of "Halloween party appetizer" magazines filled with things we'll never make but also with pictures we loooove to look at, I finally came across one recipe I thought I could handle. Best of all, it gave me an excuse to buy pears for the first time in my life, as I personally loathe them and have for years secretly funded an underground chemical facility that continually attempts to eradicate the fruit from our planet entirely, only to have each and every one of their plots foiled by a mysterious stranger known only as "The Pear Avenger." As such, I was betraying myself even by purchasing the fruit, but for the ends of having ghost pears, I was willing to be labeled a traitor.
And stop acting like y'all haven't gone through the exact same thing.
To be honest, the ones I made didn't look anywhere near as good as they did in the magazine, but c'mon -- nothing ever does. It might have a little something to do with me changing a few of the ingredients because I couldn't find the listed ones, but I prefer to believe that the first reason carries more weight. And holds more water. Why do all the "it's really true" sayings have all these pregnant women connotations? To the brave who choose to follow my lead: you won't need much to make ghost pears. Just make sure you have pears. You can't skip that one.
You're supposed to cover the pears using a melted-down version of something the magazine called "almond bark," but despite the fact that we checked two supermarkets and a gas station deli because we just figured "what the hell?", no traces of this elusive "almond bark" were found. Does it really exist, or is that just one of the fake ingredients these recipe mags list because no one will ever find them and thus have no right to complain when their makeshift versions of the recipes come with an end result of really shitty, bad looking food?
Instead, we used "Dolci Frutta." That's right, folks -- we went there. We busted out the Dolci Frutta. We were James Dean and Joe Cool, just with dirtier fingernails. I assumed that this three-dollar bucket of "creamy white shell" topping would go a long way in creating supernatural fruit, and to a large degree, I was right. Still, I didn't expect any gold trophies or cash prizes when it came time for the unveiling. Mine looked like crap, but the real fun was in getting there...
Before melting it down, Dolci Frutta (can you believe it?!!) consists only of perfectly chilled and completely separated pieces of white chocolate. Depending on the angle of your view, the pieces either appear like flying saucers or nipples. Fun-shaped either way. They smell as wonderful as any candy you've ever shoved your face into, and the nutritional label proves its tastiness with one of the guiltiest reads you've ever seen -- there's no numbers high enough to illustrate how unhealthy Dolci Frutta is. Instead, they just put a little skull and crossbones "poison" logo with "well, not really...but close" next to it in parentheses. I didn't care about any of that. I just wanted to turn the damn pears into dead ghosts. And fast!
Getting the now-gooey white gunk on the pears was no easy task, especially because you've only got a limited time to get this all done before the chocolate hardens like the bat creature from Gremlins 2 after good ol' Murray Fud'man knocked it into a troth full of cement. Worst of all, my Dolci Frutta was much hotter than it was supposed to be: the instructions said to microwave on medium power, but my microwave doesn't have a medium power setting. Only super-power. It came out a minute later, boiling, almost exploding, and ready to eat through the skin of anyone stupid enough to spill it over the wrong spot. I never knew my bones were so cream-colored.
After some work, we got the pears to a reasonable point of chocolate coverage. They weren't screaming "WE ARE GHOSTS" or anything, but they looked more like ghosts than normal pears. With fumbling hands and the wit of an old shoe, that's about all I could aim for.
Look! His eyes and mouth are chocolate chips! Semisweet ones!
Then, something incredible happened. The ghost pear -- my new friend -- had a child.
I'm not sure if the parent ghost pear did it by fission or what, but the proof is in the photo. I swear, I didn't make the second ghost pear. The first one gave birth to it. You think Christ climbing out of Mary's crotch to an onlooking crowd of camels was a miracle? Christmas has nothing on Halloween -- this is the stuff legends are made of. Mommy ghost pear, baby ghost pear -- we wish you all the best. Merry Halloween.