I’m not sure where I got the idea that Wellington would be a tropical oasis, but it’s absolutely freezing here.
And since June 1st marks the “official” beginning of winter, my colleagues keep making remarks like, “Oh you’re from Canada, shouldn’t you be used to the cold?”
I used to laugh it off, but now I just go full-force into a discussion about how Canadian homes have insulation and a thing called CENTRAL HEATING, and you can warm your home once it dips below 10 degrees outside. Kiwi homes, on the other hand, typically rely on “double glazed” walls (whatever that means) and plug-in heaters. I’ve also noticed an abundance of down jackets out-and-about lately.
Personally, I’m getting a bit more creative than that, and have resorted to using the stove and oven whenever possible to keep my apartment warm.
I picked up a couple of quinces at the Sunday Market last week as my “wild card” choice. They closely resemble a pear, with the texture of an apple. However, the above-mentioned colleagues highly advised me not to eat the quinces raw, as they’re extremely tough and generally inedible.
This past weekend, I decided it was time to try my first quince, and like anything you try for the first time, you can bet that it’ll taste amazing when coated in sugar and butter. For brunch, I topped my proats (protein oats, that is) with these caramelized quinces that made my apartment warm and smelling delicious. This recipe would also work great for the start of a quince and apple crumble – but I’m not feeling that fancy today.
Caramelized “House Warming” Quince Protein-Packed Oatmeal
2 quinces, cored and diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup brown sugar
Pinch each of cinnamon, allspice, cardamom and ginger
- Melt the butter, honey and brown sugar in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the diced quinces, and top with spices, stirring to coat in sugar mixture.
- Bring to a low boil and let cook for about 10 minutes, then turn heat to medium low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the quinces are dark and caramelized.
For the proats:
2 cups water
1 cup minute oats
1 cup egg whites
Optional: Maple syrup
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot.
- Add the oats and stir continuously for 40-60 seconds, until almost cooked.
- Pour in the egg whites (you can also use unflavoured protein powder for this step, but add extra water if you want the oats to stay creamy).
- Cook, stirring continuously, for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the oats are at your preferred consistency.
- Divide evenly between two bowls and top each with caramelized quince, additional cinnamon and a swirl of maple syrup.
- Snuggle up next to your plug-in heater with a coffee, warm blanket, and special someone to share the second bowl with (or have it all to yourself – I won’t judge).