Of cabbages and coings….

The quinces had been sitting around for too long. They were a gift, and although not equine, I felt that I should not be looking at them in the mouth. Is it only mad people who write proverbs? Many a mickle makes a muckle succinctly answers that rhetorical question even though rhetoric is not very demanding in the answer department. Back to the sedentary quinces, of which I had close to a muckle. As with courtesans of old, these resident shapely beauties had only served to please the eye, perfume the room and stimulate the imagination and I wanted so much more from them. What I most wanted from them was their absence so that the chair could be freed up enabling us to have more than one guest for dinner. But what to do with a muckle of quinces?  Memories of membrillo was their undoing. I stripped them of their delicately coloured coverings and plunged them into boiling water, more Marquis de Sade than Don Juan I admit. Soon they were pulp in my hands only needing to be sweetened with their own weight in sugar, so nothing new there. A mass of heaving sugared quince pulp needs continual stirring which makes one realise how happy Spanish peasanthood must have been with the advent of the supermercado and ready made membrillo. I’m happy with my membrillo but I cannot for the life of me think how to store a flat piece of jelly and why would I want to store a flat piece of jelly. It is, without question, very, very nice but it fits the Retsina profile in that it loses some character when it’s taken out of context. Manchego is not  readily available here but Tome de Montagne makes a very good substitute. I’ve attached the recipe from the wonderful “Casa Moro”.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Art photography, Cheese, Cooking, Digital photography, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Fruit, Humour, Manchego, Mediterranean food, Moro Restaurant and Cookbook, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Quince, Recipes, Retsina, Sam & Sam Clark, Spanish cookery, Still life, Tome de Montagne, Wine, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Of cabbages and coings….

  1. I don’t think I’d like the jelly, Roger. But I do like them on the chair :)

  2. Rachel says:

    Oh I love membrillo… my sweet tooth (teeth?) is/are rather undiscerning. Mmmm… What a great wall behind the chair (and the chair too). Love your photos!

  3. Stunning photo of the chair and quinces. I’ve been chomping on Manchego and quince jam the last couple of days, a perfect match, I’ll readily confess to not having the patience to make the jam myself !

  4. Membrillo and manchego. When can we show up? :)

    Having this recipe handy will be helpful, should I ever be able to find quince in South Carolina.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    What? Cabbages without Kings…
    Great pictures, isn’t it funny that quince jelly was once very popular in Britain and now a lot of people would never have tasted it.

    • I remember having to find some quinces to photography for “Country Living” in the 80′s, and ending up driving to a little hotel/restaurant in Bradfield Combust(near Bury St.Edmunds)who had quince trees. They stored them wrapped in newspaper to keep them fresh.

      • Mad Dog says:

        Brilliant! I think they are much easier to find now – a friend made me some jelly last year.
        Another missing thing is Saffron, once so popular a in England that a town’s name was changed to include it (Saffron Walden). I believe someone has recently started growing Saffron commercially in North Wales.

      • I love saffron and all the mystique about its value – more than gold, blah, blah. Imagine carrying a bag of saffron for security instead of Kruger Rands:)

  6. I will like them in a chair, I will like them anywhere, I do like green Quince with cheese.. oh, I give up..

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    I was hoping a commenter would shed some light on storing membrillo for you, Roger. I can be of no help. Although I’ve seen quince, I’ve never tasted them in any fashion. I need to find some quince jam to try.

  8. Andy Szpuk says:

    Nice touch with the Marquis de Sade reference, a good description.

  9. I have never membrillo. But after that description of yours I feel sure that if I can handle rhubarb I can handle quince. Project.

  10. Lisaman says:

    Love the colour quince on white..Saffron would be a lot lighter than Kuger rands…

  11. Gourmet magazine, when it still existed, once had a recipe for a beef stew with cubed quinces. I made it and it was quite good, but never retried the recipe because it was just too much work.

  12. Now this sounds tasty. I often end up with delicious fruit just waiting to be made into something, as I usually wait till the weekend to bake.

  13. Tandy says:

    Something worth trying!

  14. Ahh Manchego, a favourite of mine. And quince jam – an option for future perhaps? Fantastic photos. The second is a fine plate. What wine to accompany?

  15. Am feling homesick now as I would normally be making the next year´s supply! Love the writing (and the photo of course)…very clever Roger.

  16. I’m not very keen on membrillo to be honest, but your post and photographs make me want to give it a second chance ;)

  17. spree says:

    A gorgeous photo of the seated quince! (and as always, your writing…!)

  18. peasepudding says:

    Little jars of it would have been good so you could gift it on. Mind you u I have a habit of doing that and the cupboard just seem to fill up and Inforget about it.

  19. I think membrillo is worth making because it keeps for at least a year until the next time I make it. Just cut your square of it into manageable pieces – mine are about 10 x 8 cms – and wrap each one in greaseproof paper. Wrapped like that they can be kept in a cool larder or the fridge for a long time….if you can keep them rather than eat them!

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