Archive | 7:34 PM

Kumquat Marmalade

13 Mar

It is the time of year we in the thawing north can find kumquats in the produce section of select grocers.  I bought four pounds this year.

The girl and I eat some raw.  But after a few days they seem to strip away some of the skin in your mouth, since these are not as ripe as the ones we picked years ago in Tucson on the walkway of a miniature golf course.

So last night I made the first batch of kumquat marmalade. The best way I have found for preparing the fruits to be cooked is to remove the little green stem end with a knife, then use sharp small scissors to snip each fruit into bits.  The scissors points work admirably as a tool to flick the seeds out as you cut.

Once you get tired of preparing them, that is a few cups worth for me, place them in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, add some water or juice, and bring to a boil.  Last night I added the juice and pulp from a red grapefruit half lying around.  And some water.  Then sugar.  Repeat the last two as often as necessary.  Add more water if the fruit gets too thick. Add sugar rather sparingly– so there is still a nice tang.  It should seem a bit too thin at the end of your cooking–after about 20 minutes or so.

Let cool in the pan overnight.  Out on the cold porch is a great place. It will thicken up nicely as it cools.

I made the marmalade at the same time as waiting for bread to finish its final rise and bake.

This morning I had fresh toast with butter and kumquat marmalade. Yum!

Some will be canned.  Perhaps.

A Blessed Birthday

13 Mar

My folks called this morning to wish him a happy birthday.

Isabelle and I sang to him and gave him cards and hugs and kisses.

Jay found a nice large dropped deer antler in the alfalfa field while walking the dog. He has never found one and had asked Father to let him find one today.

He caught a chicken egg as it came out of the hen. Something he has not done in twenty years or so.

He climbed one of our very tall spruces and lopped off limbs. In the high wind.  And came safely down.

He smoked some venison jerky.

His supper choice was lamb steaks, peas and garlic mashed potatoes.  We dined alone!

And we will spend an hour or two with some old friends later this evening.

Thank you, Lord, for another year.

Spice Plateau

13 Mar

Happy Birthday, Jay!

For his birthday present Jay wanted, if you can believe it, for me to lay out all the dry spices I have, photograph them, and reduce duplicates.  There were a few duplicates.  Most were reduced by filling appropriate jars or bags more full. He got to throw away the dry green mustard which I have never used and a partial bag of tandoori masala that would not fit into a smaller container.

Many of the spices are in two or more forms: whole and ground, or seed and leaf.  A coffee grinder is a wonderful tool.

Above is a squashed photo of the plateau.

And here is a list of the spices, all of which are in use (except the green mustard):

Allspice, whole and ground

Anise, star

Basil, dry leaf

Bay leaves

Cardamon, whole  pods and decorticated seeds

Cayenne, ground

Black Coriander

Green Coriander, whole seed, ground, and leaf (Cilantro)

Cinnamon, two varieties of bark, and ground

Cloves, whole and ground

Cumin, whole and ground

Dill, seed and weed

Fine Herbs mix

Garam Masala

Garlic, powder, salt and cloves

Ginger, powder and sugared

Lavender

Lemon Pepper (for Jay)

Mace

Green Mustard

Yellow Mustard, seed and ground

Nigella

Nutmeg, whole and ground

Onion, powder, granulated, fresh, salt

Orange peel, ground

Paprika, plain Spanish, smoked Sweet Spanish and smoked hot Spanish

Parsley, leaf

Black and White peppers, whole and ground

Pickling spices

Poultry Seasoning

Rosemary, leaf and ground

Saffron

Seasoned Salt , Sea salt, Hickory smoked salt, Kosher salt

Sumac

Tandoori Masala

Thyme, leaf and ground

Turmeric

Wasabi powder

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