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. 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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