Q is for Quince
I also loved to read The Owl and The Pussycat to my children when they were little, with such terrific lines as "and they dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon" (according to Wikipedia, author Edward Lear made up the runcible spoon for its nonsensical sound - darn, all these years I had been waiting to find one at an antique store somewhere).
Perennials, especially shrubs and trees, take longer than usual to establish here at Slate Range Camp, mainly because our soil is a heavy red clay low in nutrients. My tree is bearing fruit for the first time this year, although only a handful:
The quince is fuzzy on the tree, before ripe and harvested. My variety is a pineapple quince; there is also a variety that changes from yellow to red when cooked!
The quince has been under cultivation from very early times, and an interesting botanical history appears here.
Quince was believed to be very healthful, and legend has it that Mary, Queen of Scots, carried quince marmalade with her to ease seasickness when she traveled from Calais to Scotland, back in 1561. In a poetic aside, if you get the chance, read Bittersweet Within My Heart, a collection of the love poems of Mary's, who was less than a week old when she inherited the crown of Scotland, later was crowned queen of France, having married Dauphin Francis at age fifteen, but spent the last 20 years of her life locked in the Tower of London, Elizabeth I's prisoner... so much for family politics (they were distantly related).
You won't find quinces in the stores, but may be lucky enough to find a long-abandoned tree in your neighborhood, where you can gather the fruit and try the recipe listed on the above link for Quince Marmalade.