Saturday, April 16, 2011

March and April in pictures

For want of a blog post I did a mosaic of some of my daily photos from March and April.

Mosaic of #dailyimage2011

This project has been very interesting and somewhat challenging.  A lot of my photos are of what I'm doing at home since that is when I'm mostly able to think about taking a picture.  Must try for some more work related photos to better reflect what my life is like at present.  Also, food features a lot.

So, stuff that has happened:
  • baked some afghans
  • got a new car (and sold the other older one.. it has retired to the country)
  • managed to fall over and twist my ankle again, not quite as bad as last year
  • made a heap of quince paste
  • sewed up a monkey's bum
  • Also sewed a dress for me but am not happy with it so it'll probably go in the rag bag - very disappointing.  The pattern looked good, but once again I discover that my bust size is not accounted for in the sizing of these patterns. Meh. 
  • cooked multiple dinners
  • read some books
  • did housework

Stuff that hasn't happened:
  • felting
  • further fleece sorting, washing etc
  • scrapbooking (well, not for me anyway)

Hoping my holiday is going to revive the creative side of me... I desperately need some time and space for it.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Quince paste

Quince paste in the dehydrator
Originally uploaded by pdugmore2001.

I am fond of quinces. They look so bohemian and old but have lovely flavour - a sort of cross between plum & pear. I really like quince jelly but this year when Mum turned up with some I decided to make quince paste.

I used a recipe from an ancient (1970s! ha ha - I was born then so makes me ancient as well) paperback of Elizabeth David's French cooking book :) It's an easy recipe even though I've written a lot of words here.

Rub the down off the quinces and put in a pot and cover with cold water. Heat until the water is almost at the boil. The book says you cook them till soft but don't let the skins split.. however, mine started splitting before they were totally cooked.

Take out the quinces and let cool enough to handle. Peel off the skins and core the fruit, put skins/cores/pips back into the water you used and bring to boil. Reduce the water to about a 1/3 of the original amount. You should start to see the carnelian colour of the quinces coming through.

Remove the cores/skins from the water. Chop up the fruit left over from earlier and weigh it. Now weigh out the same amount of sugar. Put the fruit and the sugar into the water and bring to a slow boil. I used a stick blender to puree the fruit once it was soft enough.

Keep boiling, stirring regularly until the fruit starts to come away from the sides and bottom of the pot. (Mine didn't get that far because I was afraid of burning it. However, it was definitely thickly coating the spoon and very thick! Towards the end you have to watch it closely so it doesn't burn and be careful of it spitting and getting your hands).

Pour into a prepared pan. I used a lamington pan lined with foil. Let cool overnight. The book then advises you to dehydrate the paste in a plate warmer section of the oven (she refers to an Aga oven I think). I have a dehydrator so I just plunked in squares of it onto the fruit leather liner and put it on low. You dehydrate it until it is firmer. Though I have to say mine was already pretty firm!