Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quinces and the possibilities therein


"So fellas", inquired the first quince. "What do you think she'll do with us this year?"

"What do you mean?" squeaked the second. "She'll do what she always does - chop us into bits, whack us into the dutch oven, pour boiling flavoured sugar syrup over us, then slow cook us until we turn maroon in colour and are too soft and tender to beg for mercy!"

"Good grief!" replied the first quince. "I was more wondering if she'll roast us with a lemon and sugar combination, or go for exotic Indian spices like cinnamon and star anise. If we're lucky we'll be served with porridge in the mornings, or maybe as an evening treat, with ice cream or greek yoghurt. Oh, just think of the possibilities - we could be baked into a cake, spooned over pancakes, reduced down into a paste and served with cheese... the list of mouth watering options goes on and on. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be good."

"Good?" exclaimed the second quince in disbelief. "Bugger that and your fancy accompaniments. I'm too young to die!"

In a calm Zen-like manner the first quince said gently "Everything dies eventually. It's part of the natural cycle. The seed is planted, the plant bursts forth, flowers, yields fruit, then the fruit dies to pass on the seed. And so the circle goes on.

   "But - if you can live on as a memory, or even better - a super tasty memory than gets turned into a recipe for all to share, then you've achieved a very special kind of immortality. No quince could ask for more than that. We're lucky we ended up in the kitchen of Jorth - she's pretty good at sharing the tasty memories."

"You're right!" said the second quince after a moment's thought. "I can live on forever that way. Bring on the knives!"


For the record, I peeled and diced 5 quinces into largish chunks and tossed them into my heavy enamel casserole dish, then covered them with a syrup made of 1 cup of brown sugar to 4 cups of water. To this I added 6 cardamon pods, gently crushed with a flat knife, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon ground ginger. Covering the dish, I put them in the oven heated to 140 C. My house is smelling pretty darn good at the moment as they slow cook away!


  1. Yum! I have a big bag of quinces from the farmers' market sitting on my bench awaiting their fate. (Perhaps they are chatting away.) I might just follow your recipe here.

  2. Yum! I'm going to look for quinces at the market tomorrow!

  3. Qunices are one of the things that I miss about Melbourne. We see them in the shops maybe one week of the year up here.

  4. Who would have thought quinces would be so zen?

  5. Mmmmmmm! My friend with the quince tree moved so no free quince for me this year. She's so damn selfish!

  6. Oh no Nik, how could she?!?


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