Seasonal Tracks – Chestnuts & Quince

It’s not a trend, not a phase, a thing in vogue to be forgotten, but a wonderful ritual with many rewards. In the offices where I worked, at every meeting, all year round, up to seven fruits would be displayed upon the tray for us to eat. It meant for me a disengagement with this superfluous rainbow, not in season and always there to be taken for granted and under enjoyed.

I love seasonal eating, not because of vogue, or trend, or phase, but because it spotlights a particular food. Makes her the star for a short time , allows him to be missed and for a while forgotten. It celebrates a colour, a texture, a short moment, because most fruits and vegetables, when bought in season are only with us for a small time. With abundance all at once and then nothing, inventiveness is born and sparked. New recipes created.

With seasonal eating also comes reduced costs, as a neighbour shares his surplus, a friend drops by hers and I in turn share mine. For a week or two cakes, salads, and curries are made, we say hooray to the vegetable or fruit that is plentiful…and then slowly as the harvest is reduced to naught, the lights are dimmed and the music quietened. A rest, some reflection and preserves stacked. It’s all quite…

Then the tilting of the earth, the darkening of days…slowly, quietly and in hushed tones…with longer nights and cooler air, the music once again begins to dawn…a violin tune, a clarinet and then the beating of the drums…with spotlights a glittering and curtains drawn, we cheer once again for new stars are born!

Seasonal Tracks-1

Hazelnut and rocket salad, with virgin olive oil, rich balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. The chestnuts were boiled with their outer skin for 20 mins till they were soft and creamy. These are a wonderful gift from one of Ralf’s colleagues.

Seasonal Tracks-2

April quince. This harvest from our Reservoir fruit tree will be used to make quince paste, a ritual that brings me much joy. Last year’s harvest made enough quince paste to last a year.