I´ve gone right off Medlars….

Ms Chica Andaluza, Somewhere Up a Mountain in Andalucia

Dear Ms Andaluza

We understand that you have recently made Quince Jelly, something which the readers of Mediaevel Medlar Monthly would be most interested in reading about in more detail.  A reporter will contact you shortly to arrange details of the interview.

Yours most sincerely

Ye Olde Editore, Mediaeval Medlar Monthly

Reporter: So Ms Andaluza

Chica Andaluza: Oh please, do call me Chica

R: OK, Chica it is.  The Medlar is not a widely known fruit, what do you know about it?

CA: Well, I suggest your readers check out this excellent post by Mad Dog, which gives some fantastic information about this fruit which was traditionally used to make fruit jellies and cheeses.

R:  How did you manage to get hold of your medlars then?

CA: I have a lovely friend, Florence, who let me pick a whopping 8kgs of fruit from her tree for my first journey into medlar jelly making.

R: Tell us a little more about it then

CA: Well, the fruit has to be “bletted” or almost left to rot before it´s edible.  This is the fruit when we picked it.

And this is the fruit about 2 weeks later.

R: Talk me through the process of making the jelly then

CA:  I used about 5kgs of the fruit which was “rotten” enough, and washed it to remove dust and leaves.  It tastes, as a fruit, of something like prunes and plums…a sweet, pleasant, earthy taste.

Then I added just enough water to cover the fruit and cooked it until it was mushy.

R: How did you know how much water to add?

CA: I searched the internet for recipes, which were all a little vague.  In retrospect, I should probably have used more water.

The reporter notes at this point that the subject of the interview is beginning to tremble slightly and mutter under her breath.

R: Once they were “mushy”, what did you do?

CA: The fruit has to be strained through jelly bags to extract the liquid which is then boiled with about two thirds of its weight in sugar until it reaches setting point.

The interviewee is beginning now to behave like Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films – shaking and twitching uncontrollably when the word Medlar (rather than Clouseau) is used.  A glass of wine calms the situation down a little.

R: Is there any special kitchen equipment needed for making this jelly?

CA: I´d recommend a step ladder

R: How so?

CA: Well, you need a large jug to put the jelly strainer over.  I went to get one out of my “despensa” and could not be bothered to get the step ladder, and tried to hook it down with a metal skewer. This resulted in a large wooden tray crashing onto my face and giving me a black eye.

Almost a week later and it still hurts!

R: Oh dear, any other experience you´d like to share with our readers…

CA:  Well, it took me almost 48 hours to strain the juice from the pulp.

R: That must have been a lot of juice

CA: Not really, about half a litre

R: Oh…

CA: And then I had to boil the syrup to hell and back to get it anywhere near setting point, so most of it evaporated

R: Oh…how many jars did you make in the end

CA: Not quite 2. I had envisioned inviting Roger over to take photos of my extensive stock of Amber hued jelly, but I don´t think I´ll bother now.

R: Will you be doing this again then?

At this point the interview was terminated as the interviewee collapsed into a hysterical heap clutching her eye and a large bottle of wine muttering “never again, never again”.

Ms Chica Andaluza, Somewhere Up a Mountain in Andalucia

Dear Ms Andaluza

Thank you very much for giving so generously of your time recently, particularly in your most delicate state of health.  Whilst we wish you a speedy recovery, we do not feel that the tone of the interview will convey the message of the true beauty, flavour and versatility of the Medlar fruit and will not be publishing your interview.

Yours most sincerely

Ye Olde Editore, Mediaeval Medlar Monthly

Advertisement recently seen in Mediaeval Medlar Monthly

FOR SALE: Almost two jars of unset medlar jelly, offers over £500 per jar or will exchange for a small house or sports car. Serious buyers only please.

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54 thoughts on “I´ve gone right off Medlars….

  1. I’m trying to not laugh very hard here.. Just so the house doesn’t all wake up!
    You poor thing, really, step ladder next time, yeah? (As if there’ll be a next time, that is!)

  2. Great post, Tanya! Such a high price to pay for 2 jars of jam. Your perseverance is commendable. I would have given up after the black eye, no doubt about it.

  3. Your poor eye! I’d have done something similar. Not too long ago I got smacked in the head with a roasting pan. Hurt like the dickens!

    Loved the post! Very cute!

  4. I think the ideal picture would have to be a vengeful one. A jar of medlar jelly in mid flight, as it fell from the wooden tray’s hiding place, hurtling towards the flagstones below. From the look of it you’ll only get two “goes” at this shot!

  5. You are BRILLIANT, I laughed out loud, I loved this piece, and poor darling with a black eye, pass us the bottle love..Did you try holding the cold wine bottle to your poor wee bruised face then lovey, oh .. this one is empty.. best we open another one dearie..c

    1. Thanks Tandy! And yes, I´m a big fan of arnica…I used the cream (always have plenty of tubes here as I am always having accidents!) and it´s so good for sorting things like this out.

    1. Glad you´re laughing! Eye is getting better now…arnica is a homeopathic remedy (cream or little tablets) which is brilliant for bumps and bruises. Go to Boots and get yourself some to keep in the house – it always comes in handy in mine as we are both so accident prone 🙂

      1. Good to know. There is a Boots right down the street. I’ll have to stock up. I am also accident prone. Thanks for the tip.

  6. Dear Chica, Thank you for visiting my blog. Everyday I become much more rich with your contributions… I am so glad to meet with you too. But I am so sad to hear your experience, I hope it is better now. This is an amazing post I have ever read. It was so enjoyable and so creative. I have never tasted and done this jam. Yes we have this fruit but I don’t know very well. Seems so nice… Andalucia should be amazing place, I haven’t been but I heard. Thank you so much, Have a nice and enjoyable weekend, with my love, nia

    1. Hi Nia and thank you so much for coming over and commenting, it´s lovely to have you here! Andalucia is am amazing region – so unlike a lot of the rest of Spain (which is also incredible). Lots of Arab culture, many different historical influences and I live in a part which is still relatively unspoilt. Take care, Tanya

  7. Yes…a step ladder next time you reach for something high. Happy that it wasn’t worse. That is probably the funniest piece that you have written. So clever!

  8. I’m not laughing…really…not even a snigger! Glad to hear you’re on the mend. Perhaps you’ll not meddle with medlars again. Keep taking the medicine!

    1. I can hear your chuckling – but I am now at the point where I can join in! Actually, I still have a slight bruise, delicate little flower that I am 😉 Definitely no more meddling with medlars for me…and do remind me of this when I am tempted again next year!

  9. Injury aside (eek!) that’s a great post. You’ve also caused me to re-think my garden when I move. I was toying with the idea of a medlar tree, but maybe I will consider something that is a bit easier to use.

  10. Oh my, that is one large black eye, for the love of cooking!! My sister-in-law has been trying to teach me how to make her bell pepper and tomato jelly, but in the end she’s probably going to have to demonstrate because her verbal explanations have my head spinning in circles. Ah, but at least I’m a good student! I admire all of the wonderful cooks in my Spanish vida that I have to help me learn along the way!

    1. Can you believe, I still have the traces of the bruise?! Thank god for makeup 🙂 I find it easier to watch someone show me how to make a dish and I take little notes then recreate it. I learned a lot from my Spanish sisters in law too this way. Do pass on the recipe once you´ve worked it out (please)!

  11. HAHAHAHAHAHA! This post just made my day! I love it so much I am going to pin it and save it so that I can read it whenever I like and laugh. Those medlars look like a version of the apples that have slowly been decomposing in my fruit bowl. I reckon my apples might just be ready to turn into jelly by this assumption. I keep my big stock pots on the ground as after my food processor tried to scramble my brains from on high (unsuccessfully, you have to “have” brains to scramble in the first place “FOILED you dastardly beast!”) I hastily shuffled them to where they can only block the pantry door from closing and whereby I can stub my toe on them when I am foolish enough to reach into the back of the pantry without paying attention to where my foolish feet are going. Annoying but not life threatening. I was going to hunt down a medlar. I hear they do well here in Tassie but after reading this I will stick to my rotting apples in my fruit bowl. Can’t be much different and MUCH easier to achieve 😉

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