The sous-chef has had his booster shot this week. More by luck than due to any organisation. Bookings had been made for over 350 people within about 45 minutes at one single-handed chemist. The maths just don’t work when there’s paperwork to be filled in too.
It was a very long queue with many very old, disabled and fragile people spread out through the car park and pavements of adjoining streets. By the time he was about 100 away from success, they were already running out of vaccine. Being a man of initiative, the sous chef grabbed the chance of an alternate pharmacy a few miles away: no queue, three people manning the operation and totally slick.
Reports that booster jab offers aren’t being taken up may be misleading. There’s lots of willingness out there but an organisation that isn’t working (and it’s not the NHS).
On a happier topic, what do you do with quinces? In the past, I’ve reduced them to a puree, thickened it with sugar and made simple little fruit pastilles.
But this week, a neighbour delivered her total crop of 10 quinces (bad weather etc) and I was in a quandary as to how to use them with no effort. Here’s the resultant recipe that proved quick and easy:
Half a lemon, juiced.
1 litre water.
10, quinces, washed.
Place the husk of the juiced lemon in a pan with the water, honey and sugar. Bring to the boil gently to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool a little.
Quarter the quinces and remove the pips with a dessert spoon before rolling them in the lemon juice.
Place the quince pieces in a flat-bottomed roasting pan, pour over the syrup (having removed the lemon husk).
Cover with baking paper and a tight cover of foil.
Bake at 150C, Gas 2 for 3 hours.
Remove the paper and foil before returning to the oven to colour a little for 20 minutes at 200c, Gas 6.
Remove the quince pieces and reduce the syrup in the roasting pan on the stove top. Pour over the quinces and serve.
These are still mouth-puckering tart and we found the answer was a light crumble topping. Simply rub oats, butter, soft brown sugar (or honey) and crushed hazelnuts together (Proportions are 2:1:1:1 by weight). Spread a few handfuls on baking parchment and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. With a dash of cream, yoghurt or custard, the crumble-topped quinces were perfect.
Don’t forget the free Christmas pudding on-line demo at 1030 9 November: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/190904710127