After what seems like ages of feeling under the weather I'm finally myself again, though the appearance of Christmas in all the shops whilst I was lying low and taking antibiotics for a week is a bit disconcerting. Where has the time gone? How on earth is it half way through October? And isn't it getting dark early now!
It is however undoubtedly mid October, I've seen the schedule for wine related events at work for the next few months so it's clear there's no escaping Christmas, and the dark nights are another hint to get organised. To that end I've spent my day going through cupboards, cooking, and generally tidying.
I'm trying to be more restrained on the preserving front this year (I might have overdone it the last couple of years) but it's quince season and quince jelly is R's favourite so not making it would be just wrong - that and I love making jelly. With the quince and star anise (from Diana Henry's brilliant 'Salt, Sugar, Smoke') I particularly like the way a pale pink cloudy liquid turns into a crystal clear jelly with a colour somewhere between russet and copper.
I had left over quinces so I roast them with a vanilla pod, myrtle, sugar, lemon juice, and orange blossom water. I'm not overly convinced by the texture of quinces so knowing what to do with left over ones is always a bit of a quandary. I found lots of packets of ground almonds though and I think I'll like them together in a cake. The syrup tasted lovely so I've earmarked that for a semolina cake.
There was also bread baking, the first stages of making a rye sourdough starter, and a stew. It's been a while since I really spent a day pottering in the kitchen, I'd been missing it and it feels good to have made the effort. It'll be Christmas cakes and puddings next, which will just possibly reconcile me to the passing of the year, it'll certainly get me back in the cooking habit.