Time’s Winged Chariot and Quince Jelly

Time now marches through life like a merciless drill sergeant, or dawdles behind like a whining child depending on how you now find yourself. Days have lost meaning, a weekend for workers fast becoming a redundant notion, as time turns into a series of statistics- the day’s death rate, the increased spread of the covid 19 virus, the daily rise in numbers, the shape of the curve, the waffle and contradictory chatter on the airways clouding all sense and reason. Dear Italia and the people of Lombardy, their statistic is about to become ours. Easter holidays, no longer holy, as longed for days of family gathering will pass without much fanfare. No chocolate eggs, don’t risk the shops. Hot cross buns? Make your own, you have the time now if not the will. Use the ingredients on hand in your pantry. The old Venetian ‘quarantina‘ makes more sense as a measurement of time: forty days, not a fortnight, but perhaps much longer if you’re still living in the land of days and weekends, still congregating at the beach, the river or renting weekend houses, shopping for fun not necessity, still in denial, joining another queue with strangers. Wake up Australia. The time is now.

For those who measure time by the slow drip of quince juice from a jelly bag suspended over a chair, making quince jelly is a seasonal and timeless pastime, resulting in the colour of Autumn’s bounty trapped in a jar. If you manage to score a bag of big gnarly quinces from someone this season, wash your hands after collecting the bag, wash the quinces well, and follow the most simple recipe on the internet you can find. There are only two ingredients required- quinces and sugar. I’m assuming that the toilet roll hoarders haven’t bought all the sugar, but then in my mind there’s a warped correlation between the two. 

25 thoughts on “Time’s Winged Chariot and Quince Jelly”

      1. Finally made torta siciliana…using christmas patty cakes pan! I specially love that they taste just like friands, my eternal downfall. Would post a pic but don’t seem to b able to.

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      1. Yes I am in Vancouver. I feel like I am an extra in a sci fi movie-completely surreal. 2 weeks ago I was trying to make everyone here understand how serious this was that and writing a few posts about it has sucked me of energy. I know things will get better and Italia is doing everything they can, but it is so hard to watch. Forza💪. Insieme ce la faremo! Ciao and stay safe, Cristina

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    1. They are so disturbing – to die alone and then not have a family funeral. All the customs and expectations about death thrown out the window. Stay safe Liz, as I know your country’s numbers are now soaring too.

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  1. Love the description of ominous time here on earth. There are so many stories of woe I can’t take it anymore and am turning off. I can’t even buy flour around here to make hot cross buns – it has all been hoarded.

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    1. It is so hard to buy flour now. I wonder if they will have some available during that shopping hour at 7am? Though, if you’re like me, you have probably given up shopping and get deliveries now.

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  2. Luke does most of our shopping right now a couple of things at a time and infrequently. However I need lots of prescriptions atm. Maybe Luke could do a drop off and pick up. We have an IGA down the road which is handy. Hate being couped up but rarely go anywhere anyway.

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  3. to each their own ! We all live differently, are used to our ways and content in our own way. I have never celebrated Easter since childhood in Europe, have never made anything of weekends and, having lived semi-rurally for a quarter century have bought 98% of what is needed on line . . . yes, more difficult and expensive at the moment, but still as enjoyable as ever . . . Love the peace and quiet and the ability to catch up with matters planned oft years back. Naturally am praying for countries which are so suffering . . . praying that the many closely affected do not have to make the ultimate sacrifice . . . Loved the look of your jelly already on Instagram . . . best . . .

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  4. The time is now, yes! Not only to stay home because of Covid-19 but try to fight against the temptation to be like the whining child. I hope more people use any extra time to make, bake, grow… and keep on doing it. We plan to celebrate Easter in our usual homemade style. Not hot cross buns but a nice sourdough fruit loaf, and a few sweets… treats, as I don’t bake much these days. The G.O. found a gramma at a roadside stall when hunting for pumpkin so there will be pie… fingers crossed but at least there will be gramma and custard, and I think a slab of peanut butter choc chip brownie might be my Easter chocolate treat. The colour of your quince juice reminds to carefully monitor the neighbour’s guava tree, maybe I can win enough from the flying foxes to make a few jars of guava jelly.

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    1. Love the sound of guava jelly, so tropical tasting. Made some sourdough hot cross buns overnight and the dough was so sloppy and gloopy in the morning, I shoved it in a baking tray and made hot cross focaccia . It’s a beauty. No crosses required, just a bit of quince glaze…might have to post it. My new easter how the fuck are ya focaccia bread.

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  5. As you indicate, the whole world is suffering together and separately right now. The desperation of people whose incomes have disappeared, whose loved ones are sick or gone, whose whole lives have been turned upside down — I find it hard to contemplate how much pain is caused directly and indirectly by this global plague.

    be well… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Julie, Yes I’ve been thinking of you too. we are doing our best to staying put, and trying not to develop too many bad habits, bad hair days, drinks with lunch…. say no more. Ah quince time, a labour of love. Is Bill still there? Hope he’s ok if returned. You and that very nice bloke stay well too.

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