Vodka, a Jelly Swap, Terror and some Ladybirds

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The quince vodka is made.
It may look like a jar of manky* fruit at the moment but by Christmas it will have become a beautiful, golden nectar.


Jelly swap!
Mrs Thrifty Household very kindly offered to send me a jar of her Japanese quince jelly. I immediately said yes and promised her a jar of my tree quince jelly in return.
Japanese quinces or japonicas grow on a small shrub called chaenomeles. I thought that they were unrelated to my tree quinces which have a quite different name -cydonia oblonga, but I was wrong. They are related, a fact that becomes obvious when you taste jelly made from both fruit. Mrs Thrifty Household's jelly was much tarter than mine but the flavour was the same and as you can see the colour is identical.
Both are delicious.

Top shelf from left to right : pumpkin and quince chutney, chelly, real mincemeat (last year's), damson jelly, cherry plum jam, damson chutney
Bottom shelf from left to right: crab apple jelly, damson jelly, quince jelly, redcurrant and raspberry jam, whiskey and ginger rmarmalade

Do you know what I am most afraid of?
I am terrified that the next jar I add to my preserves shelf which is screwed to our garage wall, will be the one which causes it to fall crashing to the floor.
I am, therefore, going to remove my jars from the shelf and put them in the cupboard below. This means I will have to forgo the daily pleasure of seeing my lovely jars all lined up ready and waiting to be eaten.


Remember the Puffin postcards in this post (scroll down a bit) ?
These are a recent acquisition -Ladybird Postcards. I remember many of these Ladybird covers, but many are new to me. A lovely bit of nostalgia.

* The spell checker thingy tells me that manky is not a word and suggests I use panky instead.

33 comments:

  1. What does spellcheck know, eh? Manky is a very useful and indeed, well used word here at BeanTowers.
    Those Ladybird cards plopped through my letterbox just last week. They are most pleasing. And please move that jellage and chutnage right now. T'would be a pity if you had to seive the glass out of it... Ax

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  2. Your Preserve shelf looks fantastic. I would sit admiring the view, gloating with pride if it belonged to me. I love those old Ladybird books and bought Originals for my kids (really for me, they were a complete blast from the past and how I learned to read). I love 'The Magic Porridge Pot', 'The Princess and the Frog' and 'The Three Little pigs'....actually my list could go on and on....

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  3. Don't you just love looking at all the wonderful things you've made!!!!!!

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  4. Not sure what I love most - your amazing preserve stash or those postcards :)

    Manky is a word - its used often here too.

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  5. Manky is in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, I just checked. So there spellcheck.

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  6. Love seeing a full cupboard of preserves - what bounty! I've recently invested in a fruit steamer, and it's means jelly making has halved in time, and fruit cheeses, butters and juices are a doddle.

    Love those Ladybird covers - what a trip down memory lane!

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  7. woops...please ignore my typo above!

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  8. Lovely to see the postcards and your jelly all beautifully labelled too! Thrifty Household and I are also swapping jelly and I am meeting her in October/November with the stash of jelly to swap in person! I am donating some of my Apple and Mint jelly as she has quince jelly already.......just as well as all of my quince jelly has been spoken for now!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

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  9. You could market panky vodka! Your cupboard looks great, far superior to my ikea shelves!

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  10. It's great admiring all the stash isn't it! It makes me feel all cosy and prepared for the winter months ahead, although I don't have any where near the volume or variety that you have whipped up.

    Loving those postcards, just stirred some lovely memories for me. x

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  11. What lovely glowing colours.
    Those Ladybird covers bring back memories.

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  12. Your jellies look fantastic. I have three Japanese Quince (chaenomeles) but was told the fruit could not be used for jams/jellies - twenty years I have watched the fruit go to waste, next year they won't be going to waste!
    Manky is an excellent word!
    Julie xxxxx

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  13. Hah, manky panky!

    How long will it take you to eat all that is in your jars? Could you not leave some of the jars on the shelves so that you can see your bounty?

    Love the Ladybirds, I think just about everyone has known them since childhood.

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  14. I love the idea of "panky" fruit!

    I had read before that the fruits were very similar, and had forgotten.

    I might just be able to find a space in the garden for a Japanese Quince, as sadly not the room or the patience for the full size job!

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  15. What a beautiful sight are all your jars of preserves. Let winter do its worst. Your spellchecker reminds me of typing a script in Ireland where the computer was desperate to change Dairmuid into "doormat".

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  16. The spellchecker is also convinced that blog is not a word.

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  17. Our preserves are at the back of the cupboard under the stairs. How I would love an accessible shelf like yours. It all looks so wonderfully domesticated and homely.

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  18. Your jelly jars are too pretty, you should put some on a counter or bookcase. Too pretty to hide.

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  19. Oh lovely tipple come Christmas! I never thought I would have preserve envy but I think I do now. What a satisfying sight that is.
    Thank you for that little blast from the past on the Ladybird books I had so many of those as a little girl. I wonder if there is one in there with a little girl in a Sou'wester and raincoat? She goes to get new shoes. I LOVED that book :)
    xxxx

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  20. Oh those jars of preserves... what a blissful sight! Beware of the jar of quince jelly which breaks the shelf's back!

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  21. Oh my! All of those jellies! I so want to start making and preserving food but lack the confidence in myself to do so. I come from a long line of women who did just these things ...ok rant over..Next year I will see what i can do! thank you for the inspiration!

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  22. Manky is one of my favourite words so glad Sue found it in the dictionary I didn't think it was a made up word. Now ... why oh why did you show me the Ladybird postcards and why did I click on the link and see Penguin book covers too. Mind you £18.93 for 200 postcards seems quite reasonable but would I ever send any? I LOVE THEM x

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  23. Manky is a favourite word of mine too & Spellcheck, well it can be a bit of a party-pooper (I wonder what it would make of 'party-pooper'?)

    Do you think we should invent a new word- Jelly-swappage/swapage? Speaking of which, many thanks for the Quince Jelly. I was also amazed by how similar a colour they had. The taste was similar yet also different, yours is much sweeter than mine. I do 1lb sugar to 1 pint juice, then add about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Do you do similar measurements or more sugar? (I use an old WI recipe from a battered 1950s cookbook)
    I'm planning a jelly swappage blog too but will probably wait until I've met up with Karen from Lavender & Lovage...

    Hope the shelf stays put!

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  24. TH, yes I do a pint of juice and a pint of sugar too. Your japonicas are much tarter.

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  25. I'm envious of your shelves of preserves, and of the quiet pride (as well as terror) you must feel when you look at them. I'd feel full of myself if I managed to even purchase that many all at once; if I'd actually made them I think I'd die of well justified smugness.

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  26. Your quince Jelly looks divine. Our Quince is in blossom at the moment and the petals are just beginning to fall. Such a pretty tree.
    The Ladybird illustrations bring a flood of memories and luckily I still have some that survived my childhood, and my children love reading.

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  27. I'm suffering from preserve envy too. I didn't know there was such a thing, but am feeling it strongly. In order to assuage it I must go forth and find fruit!

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  28. Where to start? Yes, I too have preserve envy - I love that shelf and plan to have one of my own - eventually. What a great word manky is - only the English could create a word that conjures up what it describes so succinctly (hope it is an English word after having said that). Then the Ladybird postcards - I have the book Garden Flowers which I can see on the top, I won it as a prize at school in 1968 (my age is showing now). Your blog is so inspirational.

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  29. There's no more rewarding sight than that of a row of homemade preserves. I love holding them up against the window to see the light shine through and wonder at my achievement.

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  30. Of course manky is a word. Dear god.

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  31. I'm thrilled that jelly can be made from the Japanese Quince. I have a nice one in my back garden and always believed the fruit to be unusable. Happy days.

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  32. Pati from London1:35 pm BST

    I'm loving your preserve shelf! I made some crab apple jelly two days ago and got 6 pots out of 7 or 8 apples. They look like liquid amber and made me feel very proud of myself....(You MUST be too!) Those ladybird cards are so pretty, I think I prefer them to the penguin ones! x Pati

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  33. Thanks for showeing me the Ladybird cards. I am an avid and sometimes out of control collector and these will be on my shelf in a matter of days.

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