There are mare's tails in the sky, cirrus uncinus,
and the quinces are ready.
They are particularly fine this year. Free from blemishes and smooth-skinned. The finest specimens are, alas, out of reach. Too high even for my super duper fruit picking device which you can see in action here. To be honest though, there are more than enough.
Yesterday I cooked a few of my quinces. First I washed off the fluff using a brush to get into the creases at the flower end of the fruits. Then I peeled them whole before quartering and coring. Taking the core out is very hard work, cookbooks often advise halving the fruit and scooping out the core. I find this impossible. It is easier to remove the core if you quarter them first. Even so I still managed to stab myself in the hand. The quince is not user-friendly.
You can see in the picture below how granular the flesh of the quince is. It retains some of this graininess even after cooking which is why my children are not terribly keen on them.
I poached the quince quarters in sugar syrup until soft. Cookbooks will tell you that quinces take a long time to soften turning a beautiful garnet red in the process. This is certainly true of the Turkish quinces I used to buy before I had my tree, but my quinces seem to soften very quickly without becoming red. A bit of a shame really.
Some of them became so soft I mashed them into a purée which will be lovely with thick yogurt or cream. I ate the whole slices with some of the syrup. Nobody else wanted any...sigh.
It occurred to me later that as we had eaten chilli con carne for supper I had in fact 'dined on mince and slices of quince'. I had no runcible spoon though.