The season for quince and cranberries is right now. Catch them while you can and make a batch of Quince and Cranberry Compote, before the moment passes. Make this recipe to honor your Thanksgiving table, or as an after holiday topping for a dish of yogurt to eat in a quiet moment while gazing out your window.
I was putting the garden to bed for the winter. Tucking it in involved an undoing of much of what was done in the spring. But the fall preparation of the garden is not a destructive undoing. The destructive undoing in our collective future is soon to be done by Trump and his neo-nazi henchmen, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, and Myron Ebell. Let's stand together against what is to come, and find solace in our gardens as we do so.
My garden undoing feels like watching a movie in reverse. But with it is a knowing, that soon, once again will come the planning for the future, with next spring's garden.
For my garden's tucking in, I first empty the pots of annuals, of which there are many. I unassemble the hammock frame. Also, I bring a couple of large wicker chairs through the kitchen window. This is the only way, outside of the cellar door which is impossible to open, that I may get them into the house. These blue wicker chairs with their flower cushions spend an alternate life during the winter months, and reside in my garden floor living room, which opens onto the kitchen.
Everything else that is movable and can fit through window or door, is stored in the cellar. My door to the garden is at the end of a hallway, and is unnaturally tiny. More for a hobbit than for a person. Almost like the minuscule door that Alice came upon at the beginning of her adventures, after falling down the rabbit hole.
The earth has turned and we are almost at full circle again. The year is coming quickly to the end of its cycle. Food wise, it is once again quince season. And so I bring you a recipe that is a play on one of my first recipes for this blog. We will once again poach quinces, but this time, we will add cranberries to the mix, to add a bit of blush to our quince. Cranberries, those brilliant red, tart, juicy globes. The cranberries for this Quince and Cranberry Compote, are cousins of the color of the red berries on the dragon lady holly bushes I see daily from my kitchen window. And now, looking out I observe a mostly settled garden. I imagine, any day now, there may be a blanket of snow, as there has already been some in Vermont and Massachusetts.
This nursery rhyme, "Baa Baa Blacksheep," kept running through my head as I bagged leaves this past Sunday. Bending over to hand rake and pick up bunches of leaves was a lot like a yoga class, doing downward facing dog, over and over again. So this past Sunday, "Yes Sir, Yes Sir," four bags full of autumn leaves.
But now back to our Quince and Cranberry Compote. Do try this recipe, and enjoy! Use it as a last minute cranberry dish for your Thanksgiving holiday table, or as something to get back to after the rush of this week's holiday. I look forward to topping some yogurt with it, and looking out my kitchen window and envisioning next spring's garden, while I enjoy this seasonal snack.
Quince and Cranberry Compote
- 2 cups apple juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 pound quinces-peeled cored and cut into ¾ inch pieces
- One 12-ounce bag of cranberries.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the apple juice with the sugar and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the quinces and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes.
Add the cranberries and bring to a simmer.
Cook until the commute is tick, about 20 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon stick before serving.