Minus 11 and still November

Temperatures plummeted last week and by Saturday night it went down to -11. Out walking on Sunday it reached a heady minus 8. I'm sure it was only about 7 months ago I was describing similar conditions. Still its fantastic for striding out in, stout pair of Brashers crunching over frozen ground, then back to the warmth. Have done some timely renovations to our woodburner so now we can face the winter undaunted.


Not yet 4 o'clock

Its before 4 p.m. and the light is fading. A stormy, wet week has stripped the last leaves and the scene outside is of black tree trunks and mud. This time last year we were just back from Hong Kong, (what an amazing city) where temperatures were in the low 30s (C). Local weather can be so all encompassing that it is too easy to forget that even just down the road the climate is different.


Quince Heaven

Our friends Caro and Howie sent us home the other night with the most wonderful Vranja quinces. They were so fragrant that as I lay in bed that night I could smell their beautiful perfume permeating the house.

And this is what I did...

Stuffed Quinces (Dolmeh-e Beh)
4 large quinces
1 onion, finely chopped
chopped cooked flat rib of beef
2 Tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. tomato paste
vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Butter,

Wash quinces, removing fluffy layer, halve and hollow out as best you can (difficult I thought) saving any useful flesh (not pip)
Brown onion , add meat in 2 Tbsp. oil. Add tomato paste, 2 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice, remaining quince flesh, salt, pepper, and 1tsp cinnamon. Mix thoroughly. Stuff as much as you can into quinces. Place into an oven proof dish, pour around some good, flavoursome homemade stock. Cover with foil and bake 40 mins at 190 C.
Then mix a little lemon or vinegar, sugar and butter and pour over quinces and return to oven,briefly.

Serve with bread, yogurt, and fresh herbs.
Jane Grigson and Maideh Mazda had a good hand in this, not to mention centuries of Persians.