We had a friend over for the afternoon yesterday. We were able to sit out on the terrace from two until six p.m., since the weather was so warm. It's 15ºC this morning — almost 60ºF.
Those grapes I mentioned and showed yesterday have now been harvested. I went to check on their status when I took Callie out for our walk late yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure if they are Gamay, Cabernet, or Côt grapes. I'll have to ask the grower when I see him again.
One crop that hasn't been harvested, and probably won't be unless I go pick some, is a load of quinces — coings — on a little tree right on the edge of the north parcel of the vineyard. I keep looking at them, and thinking about them, but I'm just not up to making more jelly after all the apple jelly I made last month and a batch of wine grape jelly I made a week or so ago.
The coing (rhymes with loin, foin, moins, point) is the fruit of the cognassier [ko-nyah-'ssiay]. It looks more or less like a huge yellow pear, as you can see. These quinces that I photographed for this post are probably the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. The fruit is covered with a fine down or fuzz.
In warm Mediterranean climates, quinces will ripen to the point where they can be eaten raw, apparently, but here in northern France they are as hard as a rock when we pick them. They are hard to cut up, but they make wonderful gelée [zhuh-'lay]. They are also good cooked — sliced and sautéed slightly in butter and served with roasted pork or chicken, for example. I don't know if they are grown in the U.S. at all. Probably somewhere.