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Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Quinces are nearly ready

I am getting very excited as we have just purchased a house with MATURE FRUIT TREES!

On a sad note we had to remove a mature grape vine as it was holding up an unsafe structure that needed to be pulled down.  I don't like destroying something like this, but I salvaged the situation by cutting all the unripe grapes off and making verjuice.  This preservative free verjuice is now in my freezer waiting for me to use it.  It won't go to waste.

There are loquat and apricot trees (seasons already finished but I did manage to eat a few loquats and make some spicy apricot chutney with the apricots the parrots didn't get to first), pear, fig, walnut, orange, grapefruit and cumquat trees (currently infusing the rinds of some of these little babies in a bottle of vodka) and one of my personal favourites a QUINCE TREE.

Last year I was fortunate enough to receive a very large bag of quinces from an aunt of Himself who has a quince tree in her garden.  With these quinces I made a substantial quantity of home made quince paste which I distributed amongst friends, family, neighbours, workmates and other various people who crossed my path ("hello how are you, perhaps you would like some home made quince paste?").  Well, this year with an ENTIRE tree at my disposal, I am going to be up to my armpits in that beautiful sticky quince paste.  I am thinking that I may need to make some Sunday morning trips to a Farmers Market or something similar.  My motto of waste not want not will not allow me to let any of these precious golden fruits go to waste, so be warned people - there will be quince paste aplenty in the upcoming months.

I recently made some plum paste with the plums hanging over the fence from our neighbours tree - I am not as fond of plum paste as I am of quince paste so that is another experiment that is lurking in my Fisher and Paykel for now.

I have attached my versions of recipes for making Verjuice, Spicy Apricot Chutney and Plum Paste.  I would love to receive your comments on these especially if you make them and enjoy them.

Ciao for now

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