Let me get it out of the way straight away, ironically; dear, beautiful Quincy is the one that first awakened my sexuality in the 60s. So yes, you could say that Quincy made me mincey.
Digressed? I’ve done it.
I first connected with Quincy in ‘64 when I was trying to get signed as a swing superstar, without realising it was a musical style. At the time, Q (obvs, I call him Q), was the vice-president of Mercury Records and despite not being interested in my offer to swing, say a different talent with my mouth/throat combo and hired me to sing vocals on his compositions.
My stunning vocal stylings lead to him taking the leap into the film industry. Say what you will about giving talentless people attention, but he fuelled me to become a triple threat and despite his eventually diagnosis with tone deafness leading to the realisation that I was utter crap, it did lead to the birth of his majesty.
You’re welcome. Also, I think that doctor was a quack because, well, what did it even take to be a doctor in the 60s? I assume cigars, scotch and stethoscopes, but I’ve digressed. Either way, I have talent and the doctor obviously lied.
After a successful two decades as his muse, Q and I lost touch as I discovered cocaine in the 80s and commence my priz and rehab period. It wasn’t until I was working the casting department of this timeline’s Park and Recreation and I noticed a young Rashida Jones, who I hadn’t seen since she was knee high to a pig’s eye, and I reached back out to connect with her father. Obviously we’ve been going strong ever since.
Q is such a sweety and given the soulful sound of his music and creative nature of our friendship, we like to get together for a few wines while discussing jazz, the industry and scat. Not that scat, obviously. As you would no doubt be aware, wine calls for snacks and nothing is the soul to wine’s bossa nova quite like some cheese with my Quincy Jones paste.
Maggie Beer’s quince paste has long held the mantle for greatest paste I’ve eaten (Clag being ineligible in this fantasy challenge), but no offense Mags this is better.
Now I am not saying I’m the second coming of Maggie Beer, per say, however it is hard to go past a fresh paste, you know?
And I am the second coming of Maggie Beer – enjoy!
Quincy Jones Paste
Makes: Enough for a stack of cheese plates? Say, 12-16 servings.
2 quinces, cored, coarsely chopped (leave the skin on … f-loads of pectin, yo)
raw caster sugar
Place the quince in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes and delightfully tender.
If it is not delightful, keep going until it is.
Place the soft quince in a food processor/blender/a jug and stick blender combo and blitz until smooth and glorious. I mean really blitz the absolute shit out of it, ok?
Measure out how much puree you’ve got and combine that in a saucepan with an equal amount of raw caster sugar. Place over very low heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 hours. In that time, science will create wonders and it will turn ruby red, thicken and be all around stunning. At that point, set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
Combine quince and sugar in a large, clean heavy-based saucepan. Place on a simmer mat over low heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 1/2 hours or until mixture is ruby red, thick and leaves the side of pan. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
Meanwhile, line some ramekins or a square baking dish (depending on how much you end up with, the depth of the set paste etc. Just go nuts) with cling. Pour quince mixture into whatever dish you select and smooth the top. Cover directly on top with cling and set aside for 6 hours or until set.
When set, carve what you want and place it on a serving dish with copious amounts of cheese and crackers.
The rest can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. How long, I don’t know. I downed mine in under two weeks … and hope to get a spot on the next Biggest Loser season.