January 1, 2014
New Year's day is when most people take stock of their life and figure out changes they want to make to improve the quality of it. I feel that life is lived to its fullest through travel, writing, music, food, wine, gardening, mushrooms, family, our pets, laughter, and love. And over the past twenty-four years Larry and I have refined our daily life to emphasize what is most important to us. So today life is all about Quince paste, candied orange peels, lasagna, new moon list, and puzzles.
Yep, while most people were still snuggled in bed this morning, Larry was boiling his prized three ripe quinces while I wrote our new moon list and worked on a wonderful puzzle. Larry is at his happiest when working on a new recipe with novel ingredients, and his excitement was palpable when he discovered the quinces at a store in Burlington. As soon as we arrived home, out came the cookbooks and soon my computer was filled with tabs of recipes for turning this fascinating fruit into an ideal cheese accompaniment.
He carefully quartered and cored the quinces and simmered them for about an hour in just enough water to cover them. Once they were tender, he put them in the food processor, blended them until they were smooth, measured the volume he ended up with and put the equivalent volume of sugar, and added 1 tsp. of lemon juice per cup of quince puree and returned everything back to the stove to gently boil for 2-3 hours. (The mixture was covered with a piece of tin foil to keep the splatters to a minimum.)
Once the mixture had turned a beautiful pink/orange color and a channel made with the spatula did not fill back up, Larry took the pan off the heat and filled a bowl and a La Creuset mini tureen (gift from Jackie). The end product tastes delicious and next time we will add a little less sugar.
In the middle of all this, Larry peeled an orange for us to share and candied the peels. (The sugar liquid was saved for the next time we make margaritas!)
Dinner will be lasagna with some of my fresh made ricotta and Larry's homemade lasagna noodles. Life is good.
May your 2014 be filled with everything that makes you happy, healthy, and loved!