It’s a sober­ing thought

Overindulging in scrump­tious quince pud­ding won’t give you a han­gover

Isis Town and Country - - Life - Shan­non New­ley shan­non.new­ley@south­bur­nett­times.com.au

MY COL­LEAGUES have de­cided to have a month off the drink.

This is no easy feat in the world of jour­nal­ism, par­tic­u­larly when our of­fice is just across the road from the pub.

When the dis­cus­sion was go­ing on, I chimed in and said that yes, I too would have some time off the drink.

A month seemed a lit­tle daunt­ing, af­ter all it’s just turned into proper red wine weather, so I com­mit­ted to a fort­night.

We came up with some strate­gies to go about this. While one col­league felt per­fectly ca­pa­ble of com­ing to the pub and just not drink­ing, an­other de­cided that each time we vis­ited our lo­cal drink­ing hole, she would in­stead go to the gym. I nod­ded, agree­ing this was an ex­cel­lent way to avoid the temp­ta­tion.

As the day con­tin­ued how­ever and the pa­per’s dead­line loomed, I sud­denly felt that com­mit­ting to two weeks with­out a lit­tle drop to wind down might be too much.

So I scaled back my obli­ga­tion to two weeks with­out get­ting drunk. That is, I could have a drink but would cut my­self off be­fore the tipsy gig­gles hit.

When one of the sys­tems went down at work throw­ing a bit of a span­ner into the pro­duc­tion sched­ule, I down­graded again, this time com­mit­ting to drink­ing just one bot­tle of wine, but while in bed in my py­ja­mas. I had some rea­son­ing as to why this was a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive than drink­ing out at the pub, I am just not sure ex­actly what it was.

But in the end, I am glad to say I have made it a cou­ple of days off the drink – thanks to this other in­dul­gence.

It may not re­ally be bet­ter for me. Per­haps I have just re­placed one un­healthy cop­ing mech­a­nism with an­other, but I don’t think I’ll feel quite as bad in the morn­ing af­ter overindulging in this. Well un­til I try my pants on and they feel a lit­tle tighter any­way.

Quince pud­ding

In­gre­di­ents

1 cup sifted self-rais­ing flour 100g but­ter, melted and cooled ¾ cup milk ¾ cup caster sugar, plus ex­tra egg

2 quinces, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cin­na­mon stick

1 vanilla bean pod Juice of one lemon

Method

Place quince chunks (along with skin and core) into a saucepan and cover with wa­ter. Add sugar, lemon juice, cin­na­mon stick and vanilla bean pod and bring to the boil. Turn down heat so it is sim­mer­ing and cook for three hours or un­til the quince turns a deep rose colour. Depend­ing on how much you like cin­na­mon, you may want to re­move the cin­na­mon stick. Pre­heat oven to 180 de­grees. In a bowl, sift flour and sugar to­gether. Make a well in the mid­dle and add milk and egg. Beat un­til com­bined and add but­ter. Mix well. Re­move skin, seeds, and vanilla pod from the saucepan. Spread quince pieces over the bot­tom of a pie dish. Slowly pour the bat­ter over the top. Cook in 180 oven for about 25 min­utes. Let sit in oven for a fur­ther 10 min­utes. Serve warm.

Chef's tip

Heat slices for 20 sec­onds in mi­crowave be­fore serv­ing if you have

al­lowed to cool.

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