|Quince and Crabapple Jelly|
I should stick to what I know. And to what I like. And to local. Seasonally local ought to be the only way to go. Tropical fruits. Citrus fruits. Native fruits like the lilly pilly, the jaboticaba, kiwi, paw paw, Davidson's plum. These are trees on my doorstep. These are what I should stick with. The crabapple and the quince are not native in my part of the world. It'd be okay I guess if I was familiar with them. Or, if I felt nostalgic childhood memories. But I don't. No wonder I didn't feel any "pings" of excitment when I was cooking with them. Niente.
It feels special to collect fruit straight from our trees. It's worth the effort and the time to preserve them. I know the kind of season the tree has experienced. Are the blemishes on it's fruit from lack of water, or too much water? Not enough fertilizer or yes that fertilizer did it the world of good. Taking out that pine did the lime tree wonders. Finally it saw the sun again. I know my fruits. I know the trees. I know the conditions and the season preceeding the fruit. Stick to what I know.
I followed the instructions as per usual for a jelly and I made a batch of crabapple jelly. Colour - gorgeous. Jell set - perfect. Taste - not sure. Mitch sampled some and he made a perfectly sensible observation. It left a "powdery" taste he said. He was right. Very powdery, furry-like and quite acidic. We could only think that we used fruit that was too underripe. Why didn't someone tell me this! Why didn't someone who knew this fruit tell me? We should never have picked them. The truth is, it suited me to pick them because I was down there at that time. So the fault lies solely with me. The crabapples weren't ready.
|Crabapple Jelly with not an air bubble in sight. Stunning colour too - oh well|
So why give them to me? Or perhaps I should say, why did I accept them. I have grand ideas. I overlook the realities sometimes and all I see is the end picture. I see lots of lovely exquisite little jars of jewelled jellies - all varieties - and everyone will think I'm so clever.
Far from feeling clever, I feel a little defeated and I feel I've wasted the better part of a beautiful sunny day. So the lesson for me at least is to keep on preserving and trying to perfect the fruits that actually have meaning to me. Fruits I to which I feel a connection. Local fruits. Fruits in my own backyard. I've come to the realisation, I simply can't do everything.
|It was the perfect setting for a jell. Never mind.|