Today it is a drippy day both inside and outside.
Inside I have a teenager with a drippy nose lying on the sofa (for which he is too big), and clutching a mug of lemsip.
Outside there are raindrops; far more photogenic.

Today we are two years old.
I think two is old enough for an FAQ page. 

The most frequently asked question directed at me is this one
What's for tea?
To which the answer is one of the following;
sausages/roast chicken/food
This question makes me tired. It really does, particularly as it is asked by each child in turn. If I get really irritated by it Charlie joins in too.

As for FAQs directed at The Quince Tree me rather than the mum me they are these:

Where can I buy a quince tree?
I bought mine from a specialist fruit nursery like this one.
What variety is your quince tree?
I think it is Vranja but it could be Meeche's Prolific. I'm sorry I can't be more definite. I've looked at pictures of both and it looks like both. Both are good culinary varieties.
I have planted a quince tree, when will it produce fruit?
I think mine had been planted three years before it fruited. It produced just one fruit and then the year after that about a dozen and the year after that fifty odd. Since then it produces 200-300 which is, as they say, more than enough.
Where can I buy quinces?
Waitrose stock them in season -October/November. They used to stock Turkish quinces but last year I noticed they were English. Middle Eastern groceries may have them too, or you could try farm shops. 
How do I cook quinces?
Have a browse through these posts.
What do quinces taste like?
They taste like quinces. I don't think they taste like any other fruit and why should they? Apples don't taste of pears after all. They are often described as honeyed but to me they taste of quince.

Can you put a link on your blog to my financial services site/ my weight loss miracle pill site/ my cookery site?
No I can't. I don't have any advertising on my blog.

Can I write a post for your blog ?
No thank you. This blog is my own, my precious.

What camera do you use?
I use a Canon EOS 550D. Most of my pictures, particularly food pictures, are taken with a Canon EF-S 60mm Macro lens. Sometimes I use a Canon EF-S 55-250mm zoom lens.
All the pictures on the blog prior to 10th December 2010 were taken with a Canon IXUS point and shoot, a jolly good little camera.
I use the photo-editing software that came with the camera to crop and sometimes lighten photos. I don't use any photography equipment at the moment.

How do you find the time to do all that cooking?
I don't have paid employment. Cooking and running my home is my work. Besides you make time for the things you enjoy which is why I cook more than I clean.

Will you write a cookbook one day?

And the most frequently asked question of all is
Can I be your lodger?
No. Sorry. Not even if you do all the washing up. But thanks for the compliment!



  1. Happy 2nd Birthday. Love the What's for tea bit as I have the same problem. We have a quince tree which I love and I think everyone should have one.

  2. I think " What's for tea?" is universal. I used to put a weekly menu planner up on the fridge which created a bit of interest when I could make myself stick to it.
    Happy Birthday.( It's pouring here too )

  3. My Mum's answer to the what's for tea question was either wait and see' or 'duck and run'.

    I made gingerbread porridge, to your recipe, this morning. It smelled delicious and I really wanted to like it, but I just can't. It tasted nice enough, but the texture - bleugh!

  4. Happy 2nd Birthday -
    I have a question will you write a cook book one day......?
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  5. My mother's response to "what's for tea" was often "bread and to it" (ie whatever you added to the bread. Not thrilling, when we yearned for chips!)

    I could add another question: Why aren't my pictures as good as yours? I have a Canon Ixus and a Canon EOS 1100.... sigh...

  6. Anonymous1:48 pm GMT

    I hate the 'whats for tea' question - my usualy response is "bread and pullit" - or if I am feeling particularly narked "sh!t wi' sugar on".

  7. 'buttons and dust' is my other response.

  8. What's for tea? was invariably met here with 'Sawdust and Hay' ... the kids did love their Woodentops video!

    Loving some of the Q's in the FAQ ... I'm starting to get the ad one too, and like you answering no. I wouldn't be averse to the odd book/yarn review in exchange for freebies but that is about as far as it goes, trouble is no one is offering those. Unsurprisingly no one has asked to be my lodger, but I'm not surprised they're asking you :D

    We plan a quince tree for the allotment ... I am inordinately excited about that one small tree!

  9. happy birthday. I hope you have cake. all birthdays need cake, especially blog ones.
    after "what's for tea?", the next most popular question in our house is "what's for pudding?"
    often it is slugs!

  10. Pati from London2:27 pm GMT

    Am amazed by the fact that people would ask whether they can write a post on your blog??! That's crazy! Why don't they write their own?? x Pati

  11. oh, it's mainly people trying to promote themselves as freelance writers Pati. But, as you say, why not write your own?

  12. It's drippy indoors and out here too, I have an upper respiratory tract infection and it hurts.

    I shall, henceforth desist from asking if I may be your lodger, I don't want to irritate you...

    Congratulations on the anniversary and for refusing adverts and people wanting to post on your blog!

  13. :) what's for tea? Chicken. Chicken and what? .... Arghhhh! Chicken and whatever comes to mind while I am cooking it of course.

  14. It doesn't irritate me Toffee! I like it. You still can't move in though!

  15. KC, I have added your question to my FAQs as it is asked very frequently, I just don't have a definite answer for it yet.

  16. I'm sure I'm the millionth person to say this Sue but you really should write a book ... you have a passion for good food that isn't at all pretentious, you are good with words and ingredients, you are a no nonsense kind of cook with a far closer understanding of the folk who might buy your book than many of the non-blogging celebrity cooks ... there has to be a publishing niche in need of filling with a Quince Tree cook book x

  17. Ok then will you come and be my lodger, only one condition, I think you may be able to guess. Congratulations on your blog anniversary.x

  18. Happy 2nd Birthday Quince Tree. Will you write a blog post for me?
    I've run out of juice.

  19. Those 'can I write a post for your blog' ones are alien to me, too. Why start a blog if you don't want to write for it?

  20. Oh Sue, I am so downcast. I have been courting favour all this time while hoping to spring my miracle weight loss pill site on you some day when your defences are down and you will say to yourself "that Mise woman has been commenting so nicely now for ages; how can I say no?" and all your lovely readers will buy my miracle weight loss pill and I will spend my untold riches on hats and be photographed with Kristin Scott Thomas, but slightly in front of her and wearing a prettier frock than she is. And now it is not to be. But happy 2nd nonetheless - the space you have created here has a life of its own, as the best blogs do.

  21. Mise, so sorry about your foiled plans. You don't half make me laugh.

  22. Happy 2nd Birthday.

    I don't have to be the lodger but can I come to tea. I'll help with the washing up .........

  23. Anonymous6:41 pm GMT

    Lovely photos! I have never eaten quinces before what are they similar to or are they completely unique?

  24. Deco cat, you have just reminded me of another FAQ. I will add it to the post and you will find your answer there!

  25. Love your blog Sue. You inspired us to plant a quince tree which we purchased from Walcot organic nursery, near Drakes Broughton. When we asked mum what was for dinner she would say ifits. If its in the pantry we can have it.

  26. Happy Second Birthday.... I've only begun my blog and look to you for inspiration. Thank you and many blessings for more birthdays! (love the FAQ's)

  27. Anonymous8:23 pm GMT

    Happy birthday!
    What's for tea is the question that makes my heart sink like a stone. Love your quince-related answers. I think it was whilst googling quince varieties that I found your brilliant blog!

  28. hahahaha, love the lodger requests!
    Happy 2nd Birthday, fabulous photos as always.
    Carol xx

  29. Many happy returns! I wonder what it is about 'What's for tea?' that is so irritating, then my youngest can't eat a meal without complaining...it is a wonder he does not end up wearing it...I must try quince!

  30. Happy Birthday to you. Squashed quinces and vegetable hash.

    To that age-old questions my Gran used to answer: 'A run round the table'.

    I like visiting here. Very much.

  31. 'What's for tea/dessert?' I can sense the text coming from my son when He's on his way home from school.I often reply Air pie and windy pudding,with a cup of fresh air!

    You should definitely write a book,I would buy it, it would save me having to search through your posts or bookmark them when I'm looking for one of your recipes!

  32. Happy Birthday times two!

    I love dropping in here, you inspire me with your words and photos, and always your cooking. Many a time I've thought it would be lovely eat at your table!!

  33. Anonymous6:22 am GMT

    Love those drops. When I used to ask my mother what was for supper she would say "Wait-and-see-pie". Enjoy your 2nd blogday!

  34. Oh you are a hoot!! I visit just to read your great sense of humour..... but your cooking/photography is good too!!
    Happy Birthday, to your blog!!

  35. Your photography is wonderful,a beautiful raindrop captured in a moment.My Father would always say 'bread and pull it'when we asked my Mother what was for tea.I would say good because I thought it meant pullet a young tender chicken.It was'nt until I grew up that I found out it was pull it to pieces !!

  36. Two years! What a lot of delicious food you have brought to us in that time - thank you!

  37. Anonymous8:57 pm GMT

    Happy 2nd Birthday!
    I find 'What's for tea?' most tiring when it's asked for the third time by the same person.

  38. Happy blog birthday! Thank you for all of the writing and showing you do here... many a day your blog has cheered me up or inspired me. My (teenage) son asks what's for dinner (as we say), as he's making himself an after school snack. Perpetually starving...

  39. You did make me smile with your reaction to the "what's for tea?" question. I find there are two extra factors that exacerbate the irritation of this, one is when it is asked at the previous meal as though, if the answer is not up to scratch,( the implication being that it may well not be!) people had better stock up now while the going is good. And secondly, when the answer is "chilli con carne" or "chicken casserole" there is a small pause before a follow-up question of the nature "when can you make fish pie / cottage pie / (or any other meal that happens NOT to be on the menu that day!) I get this with cake as well along the lines of Son: "what is there to eat after school/ sport etc?" Me:"I've made some gingerbread." Pause. Son: "When can you make flapjack?"! Particularly if said chilli / chicken casserole/ gingerbread has been made despite a full working day I find this grates not a little!

  40. Anonymous1:28 pm GMT

    Happy Birthday.Just to say I really like your blog,its entertaining to read,lovely to look at & invaluable for recipe ideas.It also in my humble opinion gets the right balance;not too politically correct,does not try to push religion down your throat,has its own lovely unique individual style (too many blogs have metamorphosed into the same person as they copy each others crafts/styling of home/blog content.Thank you for an other year of intelligent,strong,no nonsense & often humorful content.You brighten my day :)

  41. Anonymous, thank you for that comment, I really appreciate it.

  42. Have just seen your FAQs - I've been reading your blog for a while but haven't signed up to follow yet (I will do it). I too would like a quince tree and we have just spent an hour this afternoon looking round various nurseries etc. The conclusion we came to was that we would buy one from the very same nursery which you got yours from. So thank you for your help!
    Anne Bee

    1. Anne, I can't remember where I bought my tree from. The link I gave is just an example. Good luck with your tree, may it be fruitful.

  43. I've just this morning come across your blog and love it too much to stop reading and go out in the sunshine ... d'oh!
    Just a thought on the maddening question of what is for dinner. Do you write a menu plan? If you had one they could read it (even if you have to direct them to it the first 100 or so times!) There's a lovely one you can print out here http://www.theprojectgirl.com/2009/01/19/menu-planning-form-free-download/ with shopping list next to it (am currently finding this very useful!) or even if you don't do a menu plan, just a chalk board with 'Today's Special' on it might work!!

    Sorry, is that a little presumtious for a first comment on the first day of reading someone's rather fabulous blog?

    1. Not at all Liz, and those are good ideas but they didn't work for me.

      I tried writing a menu down, but I got fed up with a)the complaints about what was coming up, and b)the complaints when I changed my mind and didn't stick to the plan. I do make a plan but it is for my eyes only so that I can deviate from it when I like.

      I also tried the today's special approach but I'd still get questions and complaints about it -Can we have ketchup?/I don't like that/what is that?/when will it be ready? and so on.

    2. hee hee! I was hoping my 3 year old was going to grow out of complaining about what I have lovingly cooked for us all. It looks like that is wishful thinking! Fortunately the 11month old is still in that delightful 'eat anything' stage :o)


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