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Last month, Amanda brought us some quinces grown here in Massachusetts; then almost immediately, before I even picked them up from her, they started going bad. We managed to rescue enough of them that hadn’t rotted yet and I quickly got to work on my project – kotonjata, a quince candy made from a Croatian recipe; it’s much like the membrillo they serve at Dali. It turned out they were starting to rot because some small insect had gotten to them on the tree, but we were able to cut out the sections with problems and salvaged about a pound and a half – enough for a successful batch.

Because they’re a traditional Christmas treat in Croatia, we snacked a bit mostly on the scrapings from the pot, brought some over to Amanda, and saved one big one to serve at holiday time and a few small ones to send to the inlaws.

And that was when disaster struck. If we’d only had less self control to save them for Christmas… Instead, the rodent population we didn’t know we had found the plate stacked with saran wrapped goodies in the pantry and gorged themselves. Small bites taken out of every square inch of every piece, bits spattered on the wall, a few mouse droppings to be sure we knew who did it.

We went out immediately and bought a) mousetraps, and b) more quince. This is an emergency; if the quince had to come from California so be it.
That same night we caught the mouse (although he’s probably got friends), and today we’ve got a replacement batch of kotonjata. I think the local one was better – but there’s always next year.

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