Monday, 22 June 2009

bottled sunshine

I stayed at home today to catch up on a few things. 
Well that was the intention.
It's now after 3pm and I've barely scratched the surface of what I need to get done.
I have managed to get the quince jelly done but I'm nervous about the set. I never normally have trouble with quince jelly but this year looks like it's going to one of those times when jelly won't set, rain falls up and cocks crow at sundown. Fingers crossed.
It all of course really is dependent on the quince and I normally like mine to come from gnarled old trees that have knobbly woody fruit. The uglier the better. The jelly always comes out rose pink and jewel-like. Alchemy indeed. These quinces were a little too fleshy. 
As I said fingers crossed.

At least the shop and home smell like quinces and freesias today.
Quince jelly may be bottled autumn sunshine but freesias are totally spring for me. Their smell reacts in my brain in a full on way, quite trippy, I smile automatically, which in itself is quite strange, and I can feel a little peak of euphoria when I inhale their scent. I have been known to sniff out 'old-fashioned' freesias (they are the little creamy ones) at 200 metres. Kew Cemetery was always particularly good for wild growing freesias. I know Spring is miles off yet, having just got through mid-winter, but there was some at the florists's on Friday and I could not help myself. 

*9pm- Set is not looking good...... never had this happen before. I blame the quinces.


  1. Oh hurrah for quinces and freesias! I just had my first cooking with quinces experience, baked them for 4 hours in the oven in a syrup of water, verjuice and vanilla bean - the colour, smell and taste are amazing!

    It's a very adult thing, the quince, I always think of nannas, and I'm happy to finally have the palate to appreciate them. I've been scoffing them with creamy yoghurt and crushed roasted almonds, drool.....

  2. Oh, how beautiful is your quince jelly! Like god peering through the jar. Bottled liquid autumn.

    I have my fingers crossed for it. I'm such a big fan of bottling one's own kitchen output, even the experiments that fail are interesting. We've got a bunch of first-timers kumquats that didn't work the way we'd hoped but turned out interesting none-the-less.

    Good on pancakes and crumpets even if they're a little sour

  3. Oh, I love the smell of quinces. Yum.


  4. Two of the very best smells in the world.

  5. i blame the freesias. quinces are very sensitive to smell.

  6. bummer on the setting, but what a quincealicious image!!!
    i'm with Miss Claude, when in doubt, blame the freesias.

  7. never blame the freesias!!


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