About a month later (Dec 6) I was killing time in town while Mrs Trep was having a routine eye-test, and I happened to wander past a local Asian store. With a box of quinces on display. What?? So, first - how come they still have quinces when no-one else does? Second – who knew south Asian cooking uses quinces? I bought some.
Afternoon and evening of Dec 7 – I made the membrillo using this recipe. It took an hour and fifty minutes of stirring the boiling sugary paste before it was done. Culinary napalm. But it tastes good. Two quinces (weight ~1.3kg) produced approx. 1.5kg of membrillo, batch #2020-ME-00004. But wait, there’s more: that recipe uses way too much water – I had to decant off some of the liquid before pulping. So, with this excess of liquid (I didn’t measure the amount), and however much sugar I had left (not a clue), I made more quince jelly (batch #2020-JE-00005, one and a half jars, it worked fine).
Ah, but I haven’t told you about the morning of Dec 7, have I? We went on a trip out to Arundel. You really should go if you get the chance – splendid place, lovely shops including Pallant, Purveyors of Fine Food and Wines (ie, not cheap). We stepped in looking for Xmas presents and…. Holy Crap, Tracklements Quince Fruit Cheese – membrillo, in other words! Even Holier Crap – Tracklements Aromatic Medlar Jelly! (In truth, I would be happier if there was an apostrophe in there, but hell, well done to Tracklements.)
So this is my Xmas: to the extent that we’re allowed (COVID) we will have friends round, we will eat, we will have cheese and, in respect of garnishments for cheesing, I will be pitting myself against the professionals. Bring it on!