Monday, May 7, 2012

Quince Jelly and Pilgrimages

I finally got around to making a start on quince jelly tonight. These are the quince I bought last weekend. I bought more today that is destined to become quince paste. 

I'm following this recipe. First you cut up the fruit, cover with water and simmer away until soft. I didn't read until afterwards that the fruit didn't need peeling - so 4/5 of the quince were peeled.

Then I had to fashion some sort of contraption to hang the jelly bag off to let the liquid drip through overnight. I raided my yarn stash for some wool as I couldn't find string. It seems to be working. Fingers crossed for no earthquakes tonight as that'd make quite a mess!

Tomorrow I just need to add sugar to whatever liquid ends up in the bowl and simmer it until it becomes jam. Apparently you can also freeze the liquid and turn it into jam at a later date. If only I had more fridge space!

I nipped down to the market to get quince on my lunch break today. It was such a gorgeous day so it was nice to get outside for a bit. I met a lovely lady there who was also buying quince. She asked what I was doing with mine and told me she tried something different last week. She made paste but with 1 quince, 7-8 feijoas, 1 whole lemon squeezed over, 1/2 packet gelatine and sugar. Apparently it tasted amazing. I'm keen to give it a go next week. That is one thing I love about shopping at the market - the human interaction. It was super busy down there today and I love that the whole community gets out there in the sun (or rain or wind, many weekends) to do their shopping - you just don't get that at a supermarket.

I also had a visit at work today from my old flatmate who stayed the weekend and she brought lunch with her. Haloumi salad! It was so yum. One of my Sunday cafe regulars, an elderly chap, was in today too for his latte. He has to be my favourite customer - we're on first name terms and he's always keen for a chat and then brings up his dishes. You can't ask for more than that. 

After work I had a wine at Tasting Room (Saddleback pinot noir, not bad) before watching a film, The Way. The film itself could've been a lot better I think, but still it was a beautiful story about walking the Camino de Santiago/The Way of St James in the north of Spain - something that's definitely on my bucket list. If you haven't heard of the walk, it's an 800km pilgrimage ending where the apostle Saint James was apparently buried. A lot of people do it for religious reasons, others for the adventure, scenery etc. 

It got me thinking about another very popular pilgrimage site I've visited. Now, I didn't walk there (only the last part) and I didn't go for religious reasons, but I did go quite far out of my way (I guess around 20 hours each way-ish) on a bus/taxis to reach this sanctuary on the Colombia/Ecuador border. It was the most beautiful church I've ever seen, cut into a gorge. The path down to the church was lined with thousands of plaques thanking the virgin for miracles people had prayed for there. I spent a few hours there soaking up the peace both inside the church and out in the grounds overlooking it. It was quite a magical place. 

So all in all I had a great day. My cold's died down a lot too (thanks to a 12 hour sleep last night and chicken noodle soup from the Malaysian takeaway). . Time for me to hit the hay now though. I have a busy night planned tomorrow after work - some knitting to finish off, jam to finish and I think a batch of scones may be in order so we have something to eat all this jam on! I hope your weekend was lovely too

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