Monday, 13 May 2013

Quinces with honey

Even though our lives always revolve around food, sometimes I become very uninspired.  Apart from the day recently that I received my delivery of free range chook, I have not been in a 'food mood'.

My aim with the evening meals lately has been to fill up their bellies the quickest way that I can, while still taking into account some element of nutrition and not using processed food.  A chore!  That's how it's been feeling.  I think it's because dinner preparation begins at a time of day when I'm tired and there's so much else to get done. 

Yesterday, however, after a wonderful weekend of socialising with friends and family, I spent time in the garden.  As I weeded amongst the young onions I noticed the quince tree.  I have been waiting for my quinces to ripen but I realised they are not becoming more yellow.  Hmmm, possibly I have a false memory of the colour they were last year? So I decided to cook some.  The aroma of the quinces baking in the oven had me excited.  They are ripe and ready!  I couldn't wait to organise a meal to eat before we got stuck in to the quinces.
It wasn't a fancy dinner.  Just leftover meat, some veggies, eggs and homemade tomato sauce.  So it wasn't the meal but the mood that had me bustling around the kitchen.  Finding yoghurt and cheese to accompany the veggies.....  Serving the meal as a help-yourself affair rather than the usual slop-it-on-the-plate-and-get-the-kids-to-bed meal......
 I should also mention that not only had I had a great afternoon in the garden, but it was raining outside.  It all added to the cosy atmosphere.  So now I think I have found the answer to putting myself in cooking mode.  Create a cosy atmosphere and begin with a yummy dessert earlier in the day when I'm not yet worn out and frazzled!  LOL!
I would have liked to have shown you the quince as it was served but the phone rang just as we began eating it.  By the time I hung up the kids had finished and the honey mixture in the hollows of the extra quinces had drained through.  It looks so good with its syrup in the centre and cream drizzled over the top!

My recipe is from my favourite recipe book, Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion.  I don't follow the amount of ingredients any more but make it as follows -

I thickly butter a baking dish and place halved and cored quinces in the dish, making sure they won't tip over.  Then place a piece of butter and some honey in each of the hollows, pour a quarter of a cup of water in the bottom of the dish and cover with a lid or some foil.

Bake at 150c for about three hours.

It couldn't be easier or yummier!

I hope you try this recipe and that it inspires you!  Have a happy Monday!


Henry said...

Thanks for the yummy recipe.I'm on the look out for some quince now! I understand how easy it is to become uninspired in preparing meals.It's full on when your whole life revolves around good food.. growing it, sourcing it ethically, preparing in season. It seems that it always is on my mind. The biggest help I've found is menu planning for the week. It works for me and when I don't do it, that's the time I get into a slump. When that happens, like you I can be inspired by an unexpected find in the garden to get my creative juices flowing and that gives me a buzz.

Henry said...

That's actually my comment not henry's but blogger won't let me sign in. Kate at purple pear

Kate said...

Hi Linda, I make that same recipe from that book and love it too. In fact, that book is perfect for when I have ingredients in the garden, ready to use.... I especially love the side bar which says "quinces go with...".That way you can grab a bit of what you have in the cupboard, pick something from the garden and know its going to taste great!

Christine said...

Yummmmm, Linda!
I've been feeling rather flat in the kitchen lately too..maybe it's the colder weather. Cranking out the slow cooker today has helped though..there's nothing like walking into a home smelling like dinner after a day out running around.

Linda said...

Hi Kate, It's good to hear that you feel food is your driving factor too! It can become overwhelming sometimes. I tried menu planning but it doesn't work at this point because I often don't know if I'm going to be out of the house on any given day. Helping at the school, visiting teenage daughters, etc....

Hi VV Kate, Yes I love the book too. It's had a couple of mentions on my blog already. Some friends gave it to me and I feel I have learnt sooo much about cooking in general from Stephanie's brilliant explanations!

Hi Christine, I haven't brought out the slow cooker yet but I must keep that in mind. It's perfect for those busy days! It's lovely to be back to wintery cooking.