Dennis’s Quince Paste (or Membrillo, to give it its other name)
I’ve just returned from a Retreat at Mitta Mitta. Do you know the area? A delightful part of Victoria in the Mitta Mitta Valley, at the junction of the Mitta Mitta River and Snowy Creek.
Why am I telling you this? And what has it to do with a Cooks’ Column? I hear you ask. Well, the place where we stayed has been domesticated back from several acres of wild blackberries to an idyllic spot - right alongside the river. The owner has planted so many fruit and nut trees and a good vegetable garden, not to mention the cages of quail and chooks etc, that he’s almost self sufficient.
Which brings me to the quinces . . . and how he proudly served his home-made quince paste with our pre-dinner drinks and cheese platter.
Of course, his home-made quince paste immediately drew us all into sharing our disasters of quince-paste-making . . and I had some of my own disasters to relate. For example: the huge batch I diligently stirred and stirred for hours only to turn my back on it in the last moments and burn it mightily to the saucepan . . . and the batch I made that didn’t set and I had to spread it in a baking dish and try to dry it out in the oven. Then roll it in sugar to cover its stickiness. I gave up trying after that.
But our host said it was the easiest thing he’d ever done and proceeded to give us an account of his so easy recipe.
Easy Peasy Egg ‘n Bacon Pie
Sometimes you are just looking for something quick and easy for lunch or dinner, something where you can just throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix it around and pop it in the oven.
This Easy Peasy Egg and Bacon Pie recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law. It reminds me of making Zucchini Slice only you don’t have to spend ages grating zucchini, and before you read the recipe and think , ‘I have to grate the cheese’, I buy it already grated and keep it in the freezer.
It doesn’t really look like a ‘pie’ as such. To me a pie requires pastry, but this very versatile ‘pie’ can also be baked in a slice tin, should you wish to take it on a picnic or are asked to ‘bring a plate’.
Tilda’s Spicy Plum Cake
It’s handy when one’s grandchildren grow old enough to cook when they come to stay.
Our granddaughter Tilda arrived to have sleep-overs, bringing with her a bag of plums from their very own tree in Bendigo, and then proceeded to bake us a Spicy Plum Cake.
I don’t own a spring-form cake tin, but my old dented 9 inch cake tin did the trick.
NZ Cheesey Scones
We love to go to New Zealand to visit our very dear friends and when we are out and about exploring in the quaint little towns that are in the area and stop for a coffee, the cheese scones, found in every café and coffee shop are a definite favourite.
We just love them and they are now also popular with our kids, once I found a recipe that remotely tasted like the ones we love so much over there!
I make them for lunch and we might eat them plain with butter or add a slice of ham or tomato.
I call them NZ Cheesy Scones
Easy One Cup Slice
This was so incredibly simple to make, absolutely delicious to eat, and fantastic to have as a quick put-together, up-your-sleeve nibble if you’ve got visitors or an upcoming morning or afternoon tea.
We’ve chosen to freeze most of the batch, if only to save our waistlines!