i love them, especially when the sun is shining and the air is crisp. people strolling and looking at what s available. either planning ahead for the week, or just being bowled over and buying the best seasonal produce that s on offer. like i often do, with recipes and the day s dinner already in my head.
then sampling different delicacies: churros and hot chocolate for those who haven t had breakfast yet, oysters and champagne for the chique, Vietnamese spring rolls with a lot of sriracha sauce to wake up, Moroccan pancakes with goat s cheese and honey and a pipingly hot sweet mint tea, typical shrimp croquettes to remind us of the Belgian seaside, ofcourse the baguettes filled with anything you like as a quick lunch, or even the hamburgers and the sausages with loads of fried onions for those with a hangover from the previous night s revelries.
it s all there.
naturally, one needn t worry about not having the right utensils for cooking a warming tajine for example...
or decorating your front porch and your house with flowers. although now is the season for chrysanthemums (my mother s favorite)...
and don t you just want to keep touching these?
but we found us some quinces. i love what they re called in French: les coings (pron. k-WANG)... sometimes i like to go around mumbling 'coing coing coing...' (makes me sound like a duck too, i know)
the fruits are very fragrant, impossible to eat raw because they re so hard, but they make the bestest ever jelly. and since my mom-in-law is the best jam-maker i know... here s her recipe:
quinces, perhaps easiest to start with about 3 kg
2 cinnamon sticks
a few cloves
wash the quinces and cut them into smallish pieces. put them in a large pot with a lid, add the spices and just cover with water. boil until the fruit is soft. strain the leftover water with the fruit through a cheesecloth over a large bowl overnight to catch the juices. measure the juice and mix with about half to three quarters of the weight in sugar (so if you have one liter of juice, add 500 to 750 gr of sugar). boil the syrup until thickened and when a little amount put on a cold saucer immediatly jellifies... it won t react like jam, but will remain a little syrupy, more like a thick honey.
when ready, put into sterilized jars and close, then leave to cool.
my mom-in-law had to make this in batches because there were so many quinces, but she tried different cooking times and the results are pretty interesting. the first came out quite light, then a little more cooking produced a very floral tasting jelly (with the scent of roses) and the last one almost like caramel... all though, very very yummy on buttered toast.
i cannot wait to see what the market will offer next weekend.