Friday, October 21, 2011

this year's quinces

quinces in bag

My quince tree did well this year--I picked 2700g of quinces altogether, leaving one stunted, under-ripe one behind. The squirrels seem to have learned that quinces are sour and hard and unlike apples, so they've stopped picking one and throwing it away in disgust after ruining it by taking a single bite.

baked fruit

The first thing I did with them was to include one in a batch of baked fruit, along with apples, pears, prunes and dried apricots. A single quince really enhanced the flavor!

quince jam ii

Then I made some jam according to Christine Ferber's version of Nostradamus's recipe. This recipe takes five days--each day you simmer it for a couple of minutes, then let it rest till the next day--and I finally finished it today. It got a little singed on the bottom of the pan, but still tastes really good.

According to the Telegraph, greenish quinces will ripen off the tree, so I'm letting my remaining quinces sit in a bowl and perfume my house till they're ripe enough to make some quince vodka and roast quinces.

quinces in bowl

Monday, October 3, 2011

health-food chocolate pudding

pudding ingredients
 I've made this pudding a couple of times lately, and it really does seem pretty healthy for how good it is. I used to make puddings out of tofu sometimes, and they were never satisfactory as there was always a jarring note of soy. In this recipe the avocado fits right in, and the chia seeds add a pleasantly tapioca-y texture. It would even be suitable for a raw-foodist if you used raw cacao instead of the regular cocoa I had on hand.

  soaked seeds

Chocolate Pudding
serves 1-3, depending on your appetites
3/4C + 1/3C milk (I used almond milk)
 3T chia seeds
1 small, ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
4 dates, seeded and torn apart
1/4C cocoa or cacao
1/4t cinnamon and a pinch of salt

Mix the chia seeds with 3/4C milk in a big bowl and let soak about half an hour. Try to remember to give them a whisk every few minutes as you proceed, so they don't clump together too much.

 Whiz the remaining ingredients--including the 1/3C milk--together in your blender till they're really smooth. Stir into the soaked chia seeds. Cover and let rest in the fridge for a while. It will taste unpleasantly of raw cocoa at first, so don't bother to taste for seasoning till it's been there at least half an hour.