Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. – Mary Oliver
There are times in life when you feel like everything goes wrong. When you think that everybody is against you and your dreams. And then again, there are times when you have to pinch yourself to realize that you are not in a dream. When you can’t believe how fortunate you are because so many good things are happening to you.
In recent weeks I’ve gone from “What am I doing here?” to “Yes, I can do this!”. I quit my full-time job so that I can start working as a freelance photographer and content creator from next year on. I also started preparing some exciting projects that I will be sharing here soon, too. And I went on a wonderful pre-Christmas adventure with Olivia of Adelaster Food Textures, Sam of The Botanical Kitchen, Live of Melgården and Linda of Call me Cupcake.
Flying in and driving from 3 different countries, we spent 4 magical days at Melgården , a 1877 manor house and country estate in Rena, Norway. I’ve never seen a place like this before. To say it felt like living in a fairy tale would be an understatement. Every corner, every room, every patch of land is filled with magical stories. The light, the textures, the air feel like from a different world. At the end of our stay at Melgarden, we all agreed that we haven’t felt so creative and inspired in a long time. This place does something to your heart and soul, it’s difficult to put into words.
I’ll be sharing some more big news soon (hint: Melgarden is part of it and you might be too) but let’s talk about these wonderfully comforting quinces for now. Quinces in Turkey are as popular as apples and pears. They are preferably served poached with sweet clove syrup and a dollop of cream for dessert. It’s a slow food in its literal sense. Cooked and baked for a total of 3 hours but the wait is worth it. The texture is soft, almost like a gelee and the clove flavour adds a festive taste. Before I went to Norway I packed a few quinces and all the necessary ingredients in my suitcase and made Turkish poached quinces for dinner on one of the cosy nights. Only afterwards I realized that the colours of Melgården on that wintery day and my quince recipe were meant to be enjoyed together.
Turkish Poached Quinces with Clove Syrup and Coconut Cream
- 4 quinces
- 200 g coconut sugar
- 4 cloves
- 2-3 tbsp. of coconut whip or yoghurt per serving (half a quince)
- Peel and cut the quinces lengthwise in half and core quinces. Add the quinces to cold lemon water to prevent them from browning.
- In a big oven-proofed saucepan (I used Dutch Oven), cover quinces with water, add sugar and cloves. Cover the pan, bring water to boil and reduce to minimum heat. Let quinces simmer for 1 hour.
- Right before the quinces are done, preheat oven to 120°C / 250°F. Place a bowl filled with water at the bottom of the oven.
- Transfer saucepan to oven and bake quinces for another 2 hours (alternatively, bake at 180°C/ 350°F for 1 hour).
- Let them cool down to room temperate and then gently lift each quince half on a dessert plate and serve with coconut whip or coconut yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt).