Market Day, cooking to keep

 Quinces, inedible when raw, but glorious when cooked, stewed, baked.

As a blogger I wouldn’t be worth my salt if I wouldn’t at least write one blog about quince paste. So here we go... For a recipe, try this one: (link) or for a step-by-step: (link). Of course I botched it up thinking I could use less sugar. They did set, but not the nice thick jelly I had hoped for. An hour in a fan forced oven (on low!) did dehydrate them enough to save the lot. I’ve put my collection of ramekins to good use and have perfect size portions waiting to complement a cheese platter.
Oh, and don’t cut and core before cooking, quinces are so tough you might cut up yourself while you’re at it... stitches... And no, that ruby red came solely from the cooking process.

A farmer on the market gave me a 5kg bag of Packham Pears, he reckoned they looked too sad to sell, but remembered the kids loved them, they went berserk when they saw the bag and dove right in. What to do with 5 kilo’s of ripe fruit, without ending up with a tummy ache: 1. Fruity icy poles, pureed fruit with a tiny little bit of vanilla sugar, ready to go in the freezer for an afternoon snack.
2. Preserved Pears. The best two kilo’s ended up in a spiced sugar syrup (recipe), the spices are divine.

3. Pear Butter (recipe), no butter involved, just perfect on a buttered slice of toast. By the time I got to this one I admit I started to get a little over pears...

Anyone has come across this variety of corn? I reckon it is the best and sweetest ever tasted. Keep them juicy instead of starchy and cook them as soon as you arrive home. 8 minutes in cooking water, then cooled quickly in cold water and transferred straight into the fridge. They make a perfect lunchbox snack for the kids, great in quick corn fritters or chilli con carne.

The same goes for beetroot, cooked straight after buying, once done they go with their cooking liquid into a container in the fridge. You can easily use them for a salad, mashed in with the potatoes, dips or Aussie Burgers. In the fridge they stay good for about two weeks.

One of the things I like about the markets is that food doesn’t come on a foam tray. But fruit and veggies are still kept together in plastic bags to get them to check-out:
10 apples, one plastic bag,
15 tomatoes another plastic bag,
5 kiwi fruit, another plastic bag.
Then unless you bring your own bag all will be placed in a plastic carry bag.  If you like to change that, you might like the green sacks (link). I’ve had mine for 3 years and they are very well used, but still look like new. Virtually weightless and machine washable.

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