Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday Scents and Poached Quince

Our house smells like Christmas. It's making me giddy with anticipation for the holidays, and thoroughly distracted from all the end of term grading I should be doing. Last weekend my daughter and I visited Sweetwater Farm (home of the rusty dragon above), and learned how to make wreaths from a bounty of evergreen boughs twisted onto frames of poplar branches. When we brought home our masterpieces, the fresh pine smells of these wreaths enveloped the house and suddenly all I wanted to do was bake stollen and Christmas cookies.

The major baking projects will have to wait until I get my grading done, but today I poached a couple of lovely quince from our Good Food Easy CSA.

The fragrance that filled the house was heavenly, and I can't wait to savor these rosy gems on top of waffles tomorrow morning.

Poached quince
2 quince
1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp honey (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Combine the water, honey, and vanilla in a sauce pan and bring up to a simmer.

2. Meanwhile peel, core and slice the quince into eighths. They are much harder than apples, so be careful. I found it easiest to use a vegetable peeled on cored quarters. Slide them into the simmering poaching liquid as you slice them.

3. Cover the pan, turn to low, and cook at a very gentle simmer for an hour, until the quince are very soft and rosy. The quince can be stored in their poaching liquid in the refrigerator for a week or so. They make delicious toppings for waffles, pancakes, yogurt, or rice pudding. 

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