Monday, May 19, 2008


Quinces, beautiful and weird fruit that they are, have abounded lately... in our house anyway. When I go for a run I pass this big laden tree, breathe in a lungful and try not to steal any. Cheap at the shops too. I like 3-hour-dark-pink-poached quince with yoghourt at breakfast time and after tea and in the afternoon. If it hasn't made an appearance at breakfast, as well as if they have, you could have them in the mid-morning too.

My mum comes from the country, and her mum is therefore a country cook. They lived on a farm and it was roast lamb pretty much every day, and my Grandma ran the house and cooked for everyone. She's a hard worker and when we visit, it's like this huge chance for her to feed us all up with roasts and sponge cakes and kisses. Her teacake is a first prize winner at the local show. We LOVE her apricot jam, and I particularly love visiting the source of it in summer, a little home orchard that is really hard to find even if you've been driving there for 75 years and when we go is chockers with warm apricots, and peaches and plums appearing. Grandma's tomato relish... well, you understand.

So on the farm where Mum grew up, there is a quince tree more than fifty years old, and her brother and his family live there now and I think they pruned it last year. Pruned or not, it is awesomely prolific!
And it is still the origin of Grandma's fantastic Quince Jelly, or Luince Jelly as we know it, because she doesn't quite close her Qs.

Thus it was at Easter we came home with a box of quinces (and four pomegranates), a box or two of jams and relishes and a warm-quince-scented car.

Me, I finally got to make a certain buttery tart and affirm in my opinion that yes, Stephanie is right, butter and quinces do both certainly go with cream. I was too lazy to photograph that part, and it really needed eating, but I hope you get the gist.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

a bit of weekend baking

Weekends are the time when there is a little bit more.. well, time. For things like chasing down photocopies and handwritten copies and shorthand copies of recipes from all over the place. And even more importantly, time for things like baking.

I came home on Friday to discover a long-longed-for new biscuit barrel.

It needed yoyos.
I can't make the word look right but the bikkies did me just fine!

There they are above with icing firming out.
Humble, lovely, just buttery enough yo yo biscuits.

saturday night pizza

Bread is great if you're up early enough and can be bothered washing dough off your hands that many times. In our house, though, Saturday night is pizza night when we're home.. being the culinary innovator (or, as I see it, rebel) of the house I like different things on mine and secretly try to lean everyone towards simpler combinations. Anyway, we happened to have some basil in the fridge last week and cherry tomatoes on the bench, and there is always parmesan of course, and balsamic, and every week olives (kalamata. What does 'black' mean? Is a neutral 'black olive' spanish or other?) so we were in business for the House Favourite Pizza that was discovered in my aunt's olive oil book. The black blobs are olive paste which is simply olives lazily mushed up in the mortar and pestle and a bit of balsamic vinegar. The photo truly does not do justice to how good it was!

Friday, May 2, 2008

First Things First

It had to come. And here it is, my admission, confession, profession and admonition to the netting world: I am a foodie.

I like the word foodie. It just feels right. Nothing else quite means what I want it to, though the French got close to making me feel elegant (until they explained with a bit of English). Isn't that interesting? To love food in France seems tasteful, and to love food of English background just seems ... not. Not that I'm meaning to start a Franco-Anglo discussion.

It's just this:
(identity crisis)

greedy guts, glutton, pig/hog, eater


sounded lovely until they explained it meant Glutton (yes, it does need a capital letter). And anyway, wish and try as I might, I'm not French. Though I do love their culture, surtout la cuisine.

The other thing going here should be a disclaimer: No, I don't feel the need to eat cream with everything. Just have a look at the book (you know the book. the big fat one that doesn't fit in the recipe stand) and the nifty little lists of what goes together.

All right my little food blog. You are golden brown and setting, and smelling delicious...