The partridges braised with honey and quince turned out pretty darned well, and as it’s not just the season for game cookbooks but also the season for game I think I’ll be cooking them again. (Although catching more quinces might be a challenge) I’m lucky to live near an excellent daily market; game is plentiful and cheap, or at least cheap enough to be appealing and definitely free range. The size of most game birds is appealing as well, just big enough for two or small enough to eat a whole one.
The market is another reason for my cook book obsession; it’s not just seasonal produce, put also Asian and Afro-Caribbean, there’s a lot to choose from, it changes daily and you can never guarantee that you’ll be able to find something so plenty of book based inspiration is handy.
I do remember a time when I thought that the number of cookbooks might be getting out of hand – a few Christmases ago I got nothing but cook books (8) and kitchen gadgets and had to except that everybody thought cooking was my thing. (Endless hints about new socks have fallen on deaf ears - apparently I say socks my friends hear blow torch.) Since then I have learnt to embrace the inevitable, the blow torch has proved remarkably handy and I’m already hopeful about what might be under the tree this year, but I still wonder how many is too many?
Clearly if I use or in any way refer to a book it’s presence on the shelf is justified, and all my cookbooks do get looked at, so that’s ok. I’ve been gathering them for long enough now to begin to see how much fashion changes in food (and in publishing) so they sort of form an interesting commentary on social history, which doesn’t interest me as much as it might. Having said that if the contents of our bookshelves say a lot about us, cookbooks possibly say the most, everything about how I aspire to live is in the kitchen, never mind the fiction.
Partridges Braised with Quince and Honey for 4-6
3 rashers of bacon de-rinded and chopped
1 medium to large onion finely chopped
1 medium size quince peeled and chopped (or a large apple)