Several months ago my daughter sent me an e-mail in which she wrote that she thought I needed an “adventure.” What she meant was that she wished I would travel more, but there are all kinds of adventures. Like discovering a new restaurant while out on a stroll, or driving to a concert and along the way realizing that the street you are on is lined with beautiful old homes and majestic trees. (Try Vermont north of Los Feliz) After many years of contemplating a vegetable garden, last week Norm removed the roses that had lined my garage wall for 25 years (gasp!) to start one.
Just before the holidays, I was walking down the aisle of a Persian market and there was a large display of quince, an odd-shaped fruit that resembles a misshapen pear. I love quince paste, so I thought why not? I bought several to try, did some research, and poached the quince in a sweet liquid. What I didn’t know was that as quince cooks, the pale cream-colored fresh is transformed into a beautiful shade of rose and the longer it cooked, the more intense the color became. Sometimes an adventure can take place right in your own kitchen. Hopefully one day there will be larger scaled adventures, but in the meantime this will do, and I will keep you posted on the new vegetable garden.
Poached Quince (adapted from David Lebowitz)
This recipe is to taste, make it as sweet or lemony as you like.
5 large quince
4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Place the water, sugar, honey, lemon and vanilla bean in a large pot and turn it on to medium heat. Meanwhile peel, and quarter each quince. Carefully remove the cores and cut each quarter into thick slices. Add slices to pot, and cover with parchment paper, trimmed to fit, with a small home in the middle. Press gently down on paper. Simmer for about 2 hours. Quince should keep it’s shape but be very soft.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: This would be a great side to Turkey!