A Love Affair: Quince

By Leslie Parks - Thursday, October 01, 2015

It was October of 2013 when I last picked quince. I was in France and the fruit was ready. My grandmother announced that we would be making quince jelly that day. We gathered the basket and the quince picking tool and headed up the hill to the few quince trees growing in the yard to harvest the quince.
Fast forward 2 years and it's October. I put on my vest and scarf, grabbed a hat and my camera on my out to a friend's house who has a quince tree.  In America it was customary to plant a quince tree at a corner of an apple orchard and her yard has that, two rows of apple trees with a quince at the south end. It is an unknown here in the States. Every time I go to the grocery store and pass down the jelly isle, I look to see maybe they have it in the snooty jelly section but they don't.  So when I found out one of my friends has a quince tree and was willing to share, I was more than overjoyed!The day was foggy as I drove the 20 minutes to her house. We chatted a little and then we set up the ladder and I picked for maybe twenty minutes. I filled a small laundry basket half full and carted my treasure home. It truly is a treasure and requires a little work to get to the sweet nectar of the fruit. Some of the Greek and Roman myths feature a quince fruit however they are often translated as apples instead. It is easy to see how it would be translated to apple, I mean quince really can't be eaten raw. They have to be cooked to be eaten. Once home, I wiped the fuzz off the fruit and quartered them, placing them in the steamer juicer I waited until the hour was up and then drained this beautiful pink liquid into my collection bucket. And so goes the process until all the quince are gone. The beautiful pink liquid goes into the freezer for another day.

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