If one were to casually peek into our window, either literally or virtually, it would appear as if we are oblivious to the pain and suffering happening around the world. We consume the news in small doses and discuss some of it in code or late night conversations, consciously careful to protect this nest and the pure hearts of the littlest birds in it.
Like a diet, we restrict our intake of the harsh ugliness in the world and binge on the joyful beauty; not to delude ourselves but to avoid being subsumed by the weight of sorrow and despair which would rob our hearts of hope and our nights of sleep. We have never used this tiny bit of bandwidth and memory for political commentary or news reporting. Instead our commitment is to share and document beauty, light, and love and be healed by it, as we pray that it offers healing to others.
Even in Ankara, we saw a major tragedy last month. We digested it, reflected on it, and prayed for the whole world of “us” afflicted by various crimes, tragedies, and injustices. But, for the sake of our souls and children, we move on. We continue to savor peace where we find it and express gratitude for what is. As unfair as our world may seem, we believe in an Ultimate Judge and an Eternal Justice, without neglecting our responsibility to affect change on a spiritual, communal, and social level where we are. As it has been said, “the two wings of the believer are hope and fear”. We are trying to chart our path through this temporal world with balance and would like to share some of our joy as of late with no disrespect or disregard to those who are still mourning.
It has been years since we’ve experienced the fall. I almost forgot how much I enjoy this season. The earthy, warm colors; the cool, crisp weather; the feel of fuzzy textures and layers are all very comforting. Most days here have been sunny, so I can take Lil’ Z and Moulay out for walks or to the park in our quiet suburb. Some days, we pick wild apples behind our apartment building or buy seasonal delights like figs, mandarins, walnuts, pomegranates, and quinces from a local produce seller. Because of our limited Turkish, I actually bought quinces by error but tasting the pear lookalikes foreshadowed the pounds of them we would soon receive from a friend’s yard.
The coarse, gritty texture of a quince is not as smooth as a pear and the taste not as sweet. I tolerated the first few but found them difficult to eat because of their starchy density. To consume the pounds in our fridge, I searched for recipes but most of them were for super-sweet jam or jellies. Eventually, I found this recipe and tweaked it be a lot simpler and with a lot less sugar. If you find yourself in a Mediterranean fall, give quinces a chance. Enjoy!
Stewed Quince with Dried Cranberries
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp. of vanilla powder
A pinch of salt
1 handful of dried cranberries
- Wash, peel, seed, and chop the quinces into small pieces
- Add quinces to a pot with enough water to cover half the depth of quinces
- Cook the quinces covered on a high flame
- Add all ingredients except for the dried cranberries to the pot and simmer once the water starts to boil
- When the quinces are soft and easy to mash, stir in cranberries, and turn off the flame.