With what has been a glorious week of weather, the roof has been made water tight, if not yet finished.  On Thursday the final insulation and water proof layer were put in place and on Friday the final compression layer was applied.  Therefore, rain or shine the roof has been sealed and all that remains to be done there (for now) is the fitting of the tiles.  Other finishes will be put in place in due course.

It can also be said that the place has had a good tidy up and made ready for the aplec (gathering) tomorrow.  What to do with and where to put the minor mountain of excavated soil and rubble that has sat adjacent to the house for the past six months or so was finally resolved this week and in a somewhat deft and professional manner.  Pere called in a digger and the majority of the material has been taken to the small field on the south side of the house where it has been leveled to provide the basis for what will be public parking and access to the church.  All this might sound somewhat bland and matter fact except that on seeing the end result you realize you could just about play a game of snooker on the finished surface, such is the degree of care taken.

All of this has occurred in a sun soaked start to the autumn.  Warm enough for a most pleasant trip to the beach late this afternoon.  Our one kilometer stretch of beach at Premià is normally pretty chocka ( full) when summer is in full swing.  Today 2nd October, the sum total was half a dozen fisherman pitching their rods, half a dozen swimmers, us three included and a bunch of kids mucking around and the chiringuito (temporary summer beach bar) was gone.  The Catalans have turned their backs on the beach until next summer.

As I tap this out, Goretti is slaving over a bubbling pot of what will be quince cheese (jelly), that slightly tart and tasty counterpoint to manchego or other cheeses, as is your wish. 

Quince Cheese

Thoroughly wash the quince, then chop them into chunks and place in a pan…..skin, stalks and pips and all.

Bring to the boil and cook until they are soft.  Then pass the cooked fruit through a non metallic sieve (better still, use a plastic mouli if you have one).

This leaves you with a flesh coloured pulp.  Weigh the pulp and return this to the cleaned pan with an equal quantity of sugar.  (We have the somewhat excessive quantity of 4kgs of pulp, so 4kg of sugar are required on this occasion.  A quarter of this amount would satisfy a normal, sane family.)  For every of 2kg of fruit and sugar add the juice of one lemon.

Cook the pulp, sugar, lemon juice mix stirring regularly to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.   Cookery books say that the jelly is ready when taking a wooden spoon through the pan a clear line is left in the pan.  Such is the amount Goretti is cooking our guide is when the spoon stands up of its own accord and it has a deep amber colour, the jelly will be ready.

Carefully pour the molten mass into plastic containers to a depth of about 3cm and leave to cool and set.  Leave for a few weeks before eating.  Store in a cool dark place and it will keep for up to one year.

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