Goals Update and Quince Update

Hello!  To anyone that wandered over from my Facebook page lookin’ for the dog food picture, just scroll down to the next post or click here!

I have a quince update, and I also wanna update my current list of goals, which I’ve never accumulated in one blog post before.  Which first?  Hmmm… let’s do goals:

  1. Weight Loss Goal: My current goal is to lose 152 pounds.  That would put my weight at an even 250 pounds.  I’ll set another goal beyond that, but I haven’t decided what it will be – one weight loss goal at a time is enough for me, thank you very much.  Current Status: I’ve lost 147 pounds – so I’m only 5 pounds away!  Reward: I’ve only mentioned it once on the blog before, but my reward for hitting 250 is going to the shooting range and firing a gun!  I want one of those paper targets with a person’s outline on it that’s I’ve riddled with holes.
  2. Running Goal: My current goal is to run past all six strip clubs within walking distance of my house without stopping.  The route that takes me past all six totals 6.4 miles.  My efforts towards completing this goal have been well documented in this blog, most recently hereCurrent Status: My most successful run so far was 5.1 miles – so I have a ways to go, but it’s doable.  Reward: I haven’t really thought about it, but isn’t running past six strip clubs really the reward?
  3. Gym Goal: I first mentioned this goal in the comments section of this post, but now I’m making it official.  My current goal is to climb 73 stories on the StairMaster without stopping.  That’s the number of floors in the Renaissance Center in Detroit, which is the tallest building in the state of Michigan.  It’s also the number of floors in the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, which is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.  Current Status: I’ve made it to 51 floors on the StairMaster without stopping.  This goal has a ticking clock – I’d like to reach it by December, because my Reward for this goal is to go to the Renaissance Center when I’m in Michigan for Christmas.  There’s a restaurant (Coach Insignia) on the top floor that has amazing views, and I haven’t been there since I was a kid.

Now onto the quince.  To bring anyone that needs it up to speed, I like trying new fruits and vegetables that I often pick up at the farmers’ market.  I haven’t been to the farmers’ market in a few weeks, but while at the store a few days ago, I bought something I’ve never bought before: a quince.

I had to do some research, because I had no idea what to do with it, how to eat it, or when it was ripe.  Basically, what I learned is this:  A raw quince is inedible.  Well, I suppose that technically it’s edible, as it’s not toxic or anything, but everything that I read said that it’s extremely tart, so it’s best to cook it first.  Good times –  of course I pick the inedible fruit.  I also learned that some scholars and experts think that it was actually a quince that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, as the apple is never mentioned by name in the Bible, and quinces are native to the region.  I’m no Bible expert, but c’mon!  How tempting can a quince be if you can’t eat it raw?  I don’t remember reading in Sunday School about Eve plucking the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and then poaching it for an hour just so she could take a bite.  Let’s stick with apple, shall we?

The next thing I had to do was find a quince recipe.  My parameters were that it be simple and have few ingredients.  I wanted something that would show off the quince’s flavor so I could decide whether or not I liked it.  This means I had to rule out Martha Stewart’s recipe for Lamb and Quince Tagine – it sounds delicious, but would require me to buy 5 pounds of lamb and calls for 28 additional ingredients.  Sorry, Martha, but instead I settled on this simple-sounding Poached Quince recipe from Cooking Light.  It only has 6 ingredients, and I already had all of them (sort of – keep reading) in my cupboards.

First step was peeling, coring, and dicing the quince.  I took pictures like a good blogger does.  Here it is peeled:

Peeling it was a pain in the ass, both because the skin is tough, and I have a crappy peeler and need a new one (cough a-good-idea-for-a-stocking-stuffer-mom cough).  The core has a few big seeds in it:

And here’s the finished product, after dicing:

Next I prepared the poaching liquid.  Since I was only poaching 1 quince, and not 4 (as the recipe suggests), I only put in about a cup of water (instead of 4 cups) and 1/4 cup of sugar (instead of a whole cup).  I also added the peppercorns, and because I didn’t have a cinnamon stick, I tossed in a teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon, and I also zested the lemon instead of using a piece of the rind.  Here’s everything in the pot:

And here it is after I stirred it, BTB, RTS (an acronym Anne Burrell on the Food Network uses – it stands for Brought To Boil, Reduced To Simmer), and added the quince:

And then I played the waiting game, because this whole shooting match (to quote Anne Burrell again) needed 45 minutes on the stove.  I had read multiple times on the interweb that quinces change color when they’re cooking – going from pale yellow-green to rosy pink.  Sure enough, after 45 minutes, they were a slightly different color:

I let them come to room temperature and fished out the quince with a slotted spoon.  The recipe suggests that you serve the dish with a tablespoon of the poaching liquid, but I skipped that part, because it’s just syrup, and I didn’t want the extra sugar, and the whole point is to taste the quince.  After well over an hour of dicing, poaching, and cooling, I had a bowl of edible quince!

How did it taste, you ask with baited breath?  Like a baked apple.  The quince had a texture and bite of the apples in an apple pie, and the cinnamon only further reminded me of the apple-ness of it all.  I think I added way too much cinnamon, so I will take the blame for what I think was a disappointing end result.  But cinnamon aside, I didn’t find the quince very flavorful or interesting.  Why should I buy another quince when I can buy apples that are cheaper, and that also have the added bonus of being edible right off the tree?  I’d like to think that at some point I’ll give a quince another chance, but with a prep time of an hour+, it’s not gonna be anytime soon.  Sorry, quince, you lose.  But in the game of me trying new things, this still counts as a win.  And for that, I say…

…Keep it up, David!

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4 Responses to Goals Update and Quince Update

  1. Not sure what tool (if any) you use to capture your run data- but you might try Endomondo – it’s a free app for iPhone/Androids. I just started using it and really like it. I’ve been running now since Jan ’10 (several attempts before- but this is the one that stuck) – and these tools like Nike+, a GPS watch or Endomondo all help me train better by knowing my pace and challenging myself. I love this goal though- 6 strip clubs. Maybe you should get one of them to sponsor you- you can run in a t-shirt of their club on your run, and then your reward will be a night (on them) at the club when you’ve reached the goal 🙂

  2. I love your goal of climbing 73 stories on the StairMaster without stopping. You’re not too far off from reaching that goal! (As a side note – I find it funny that I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life and never been to the Renaissance Center that I’ve heard so many people talk about and tell me I need to visit there! lol)

    As for that apple type looking thingy…you have way more patience than I do! There is no way I would have cooked that ‘thing’ for that long just to try it. lol

  3. Nicolette says:

    We had a quince tree in our backyard (we had lots of fruit trees in our backyard) in South Africa and the quince just isn’t interesting. It’s just an excuse to make the syrup. Or jam. That’s what we did with quinces. But I like apricot and raspberry jam much more. To be fair, quince is food and it can be made edible. So in that sense, it has merit. But I agree,it is just isn’t very flavorful….or maybe its flavor is just incredibly subtle…Bah, I’m just trying to be nice to the quince and be grateful that I have a choice about what I might wish to eat. If you have a choice, better get a lovely fresh crunchy apple. Or persimmon. My current favorite winter fruit.
    Keep it up, David!

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