Quince paste: a lesson in patience

Um, hi there! Okay, so let’s just say that we spoke last week… okay?

Tried something completely new today. Something that required patience. (Between you and me, I’m a bit light on patience. Excepting with my boys. Oh, and while we’re talking, I’m a bit attention deficit, too. But that’s for another day.)

  

I’ve been watching our quince tree, each year, being picked to pieces by king parrots. Oh, such a wonderful Australian bird (etc),  I just wish they would stop having a couple of mouthfuls of every fruit in my garden.

So after one catastrophic tree netting experience last year (a bird got in, but couldn’t get out, and I spent a good portion of one afternoon simultaneously trying to calm my three boys, calm a bird enough to get her untangled from a net, and stop myself from hysterically sobbing), I decided there had to be another way of keeping the fruit for us. So, this year I watched them nibble and drop about eight quinces, and then I picked them all early.

  

I’ve never eaten a raw quince before, have you? Well technically I have now, because after every single website told me not to, well, I had to try it today. (Wow, living on the edge there Mrs Pickles!) Guess what? The internerd is right. Raw quince is bitter, feels pretty gritty and awful in your mouth; it’s yuck.

  

But they’re so pretty with their furry skins and starry shaped bottoms.

  

Anyhoo, today I tried to make quince paste.

  
Did it work out? I have no idea! I’ll know in about eighteen hours if it has set.

  

But here’s what I do know. Cooking quinces is like magic. 

They transform themselves (with a little bit of applied heat, stirring and yes, sugar), from hard green-yellow bitter things into a glossy, delicious, jammy delight.

  
Now I’m just crossing every finger and toe that this becomes a quince paste (aka quince “cheese”) and not a quince jam by tomorrow afternoon.

  
If I can cut this thing into pieces and gift to some of my dearest people I’ll be thrilled.

At any rate, it was a good practice in patience. It literally takes All Day. But rewarding! And someone had to lick the spoon clean! Now, cheese platter, anyone? (Wish me luck).

Chat soon xx

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