Valerie Roy with red pears

Residents share their favourite recipes

There are so many talented cooks amongst Living Choice’s 2,186 residents that we thought we would celebrate the advent of 2020 by inviting them to share their best recipe. Thank you to Valerie Roy of Living Choice Glenhaven for her poached pears recipe, a favourite with her family on Christmas Day.



4 cups red wine

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 cinnamon stick

2 whole star anise

6 firm pears, peeled


  1. Mix red wine, sugar and vanilla in the slow cooker.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and the pears. Make sure that the pears are covered in the wine mixture.
  3. Cook for 4 hours on low or until the pears are nice and tender.
  4. Before you go to serve, scoop roughly a cup of the poaching liquid and transfer it to a small pot. Bring to the boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until thickened and syrupy.
  5. Serve the pears with a drizzle of the syrup over the top.

Please note: for Christmas, I drain the cooked pears on a cake cooling tray. When they are cool, I make a port wine jelly mixture with one cup of water.  When it is cooled down, using a pastry brush, brush over the pear.  Put into fridge and then repeat a second time.  It gives it a lovely shiny look. I cover the stalk with tinfoil and serve it with whipped cream, ice-cream or whatever is your choice.

Valerie Roy with red pears 1