Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Catch what you can and a rumination on Quince

Ok, so I was going to do something with cod fillets this evening, however, once I unpacked the damn things I found a parasitic worm in the flesh. Bollocks. So I was left with the dilemma of what I fancied for dinner as the uninvited guest had rather put me off the thought of fish, so it was rummaging through the backwaters of the fridge I went.
Luckily I had a lump of Manchego Cheese and some Membrillo (quince paste) hanging about as well as a couple of sweet chorizos and some pretty good tomatoes. Tucking into this treasure trove I realised that this is probably one of my favourite ways to eat. My girlfriend calls it "Catch What You Can". It's always when your rummaging about for grub that you get that lucky break, that forgotten tin, those leftovers, that half finished pack, mixed them all together and suddenly out of nothing comes magic. Or a least a semi decent meal.
Oh yeah and it reaffirmed my love of quince and cheese together. Stunning. What ever happened to the quince? It seems to have been a staple fruit in Victorian/Edwardian Britain (I seem to recall mention of it in C.S Lewis) but these days only the Spanish seem to give a toss about it. I may be wrong, there may be a flourishing quince industry out there. If there is or anyones got a good quince recipe, I'd love to know.


cookiecrumb said...

My husband calls that kind of food rummaging "cream of bottom of the refrigerator soup." Hah!
I had a flowering quince tree at my last address -- primarily ornamental, but it usually popped out several fruit that were hard and barely ripe (lots of shade). However, I managed to boil them up one year and make my own membrillo... No other quince recipes, alas.

cookiecrumb said...

Meant to add: Truly beautiful pictures!

Monkey Gland said...

Ahhhh Shucks! Ta very much ;-)

Sam said...

Much of my childhood enjoyment of Fish'n'Chips was spoilt by the appearance of the parasitic worm. That is when I became more of a plaice girl instead of a cod'un.

Barbara said...

Hi Monkey Gland
Where are you? Portugal?

Monkey Gland said...

alas, nowhere so exotic! I'm a in sunny London Town.

farmgirl said...

I've said more than once that my favorite food is leftovers. All the tastiness of the first day and none of the effort! : )

I planted a little quince tree at my previous farm, and it did very well. Lovely blossoms, tons of fruit. Didn't have a clue what to do with them. I'd read that a bowl of them left on the counter would permeate the room with their delicous perfume, and I figured that was reason enough to grow them, but mine weren't very perfumey.

London! How marvelous! For some reason I thought you were somewhere on the other side of the world (might have been the monkey gland name) : )

jim said...

My father always refers to that as a "knock at the pantry door". Which frankly probably reveals more about his idea of where meals actually come from than anything else.

If I recall, and it's not much of a jump if I'm making it up, Jane Grigson's Fruit Book has quite a few Quince recipes, but most are for jellies, jams and other things begining with j rather than as an ingredient.

A bit of a Google did reveal this:, complete with the news that there's a Quince Chat Group (and it doesn't have an 18 rating, so it really might be).

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, god, Sam: what is plaice, and what is cod'un?
-- CA native

Nathalie said...

If you like manchego and quince, you should try Berkswell (a hard sheep's milk cheese from northern England) and this quince paste from, I think the company is called Isle of Skye, although the jelly's made right outside London. Divine.