20 April 2017

Quinces and the Queen

A-Z challenge - My memories of life on the farm in the nineteen fifties and sixties


Quinces were the one fruit we never took from the tree. A raw quince is dry tasting and has an unpleasant furry skin. When they ripen however they can be used to make a variety of dishes. Mum made quince jelly which was a jam strained of fruit until only the clear liquid remained.

The cleaned and chopped quinces were boiled with a little lemon juice for about one and a half hours. When the fruit had cooled the juice was strained through a muslin cloth then boiled with added sugar. The scum was skimmed from the top before pouring into jars for sealing and labelling.

The left over quinces were somewhat dry but leaving nothing to waste, Mum would then make a cake-top pudding from the remaindered fruit. We also had stewed quinces with cream for a sweets course when our tree had plenty of fruit. Nearby neighbours had more quince trees so it was not unusual to process a large bucketful of quinces for either the clear red quince jelly or stewed fruit.

The Queen

I’ve added this post about the Queen from my sister Catherine’s memories.

In 1954 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were due on their first trip to the antipodes. Much excitement was generated in the papers of the day with thousands of articles in national, regional and local papers following the royal progress through New Zealand and Australia. As March approached, plans were published of the details for the South Australian visit.

On Tuesday, March 23rd the royal couple would be greeted by thousands of school children as they toured the Wayville Showground oval in an open-topped vehicle.
Schoolchildren from all over the state were transported to Adelaide for this momentous day. The local primary school where my brother and three sisters attended sent some carloads of children to Adelaide for the event. Catherine was excited to be going in a neighbour’s car dressed up in her Sunday best. It was the first time she had been in a car that did not belong to Dad and she remembers having a paper flag to wave.

Here’s an extract from the afternoon edition of the News on that day.
98,000 CHILDREN CHEER FOR 5 MIN. Noisiest welcome Queen has had
The Queen watched with apparent delight at Wayville this afternoon 98,000 schoolchildren in the largest, noisiest, most spectacular display she has seen in Australia.
When the Queen and the Duke arrived on the oval the massed children broke into a scene of fluttering flags and shrill sustained cheers. They cheered without pause for more than five minutes as the Queen and the Duke, standing in the back of a Land Rover drove around them smiling and waving. It was the longest sustained acclamation the Queen has received any where in Australia, and the greatest in volume of sound. Joy and dignity were the twin key notes of this occasion which none of the children will ever forget.

The complete article can be read from the following link.
1954 '98,000 CHILDREN CHEER FOR 5 MIN.', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 23 March, p. 30. , viewed 13 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130871892

It must have made quite an impression on a young farm girl from a small country school to see such crowds and I thank her for recalling it now 63 years later.

Next R - Rabbits and the rain gauge


  1. Great post and recipes! My maternal grandfather had a quince bush in his yard after he and my grandmother moved away from the farm. If I'd had these recipes then, I would have tried to whip something up!

  2. Very interesting information about the quince. I've never had one before, so I liked learning how it used and eaten. The skin sounds a bit like a peach that is fuzzy - but the peach skin is soft enough that it can be eaten. A kiwi - also a fuzzy fruit - is not so pleasant to eat!

  3. Hi Carmel - love the Quince recipe and thoughts ... I used to love making jellies and jams with my Ma -but it was long long ago; not as long as your sister and her remembrances about the visit with the Queen down under ... happy memories ... cheers Hilary


  4. Wow! That sounds delightful. Both the food and having the Queen nearby. I always thought it would be wonderful to live in a country with monarchy, although in reality I'm quite happy to live in the USA. =)

    Visiting from the A to Z Challenge. You can see my "Q" post here: https://lydiahowe.com/2017/04/20/q-is-for-questions-atozchallenge-also-time-for-yall-to-ask-questions/

  5. I saw quince trees when living in Melbourne. Mostly just rotting fruit. I don't think I have ever tasted them. Recipes always look like a lot of work.
    Thanks to your sister for sharing her visiting Queen story. The Queen came to NZ in the 1960s and we lined the street to wave.

  6. I love quinces. They are in season again. I had them for dessert last night and breakfast this morning :)

    My mother remembers lining up for the queen when she visited. They had two days. On one day they had to wear their summer uniform and the next their winter uniform. On one of those days, can't remember which, they were too hot or too cold as a result.

    My husband remembers standing for Princess Alexandria when she came. Quite enough to turn him into a republican. Hours waiting at the Albury showground. She appeared in a land rover or something and drove past quite fast. Pointless and time wasting the whole exercise as far as he was concerned.

    Catching up on my A to Z blog visiting Q is for Queenscliff in 1882

    Anne Young

    Anne's family history


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