Thursday, January 5, 2012

You have to pick your battles.....

You have to pick your battles in life.  It's not always about the winning of the battle but the will to fight, the pleasure of the sparring, and in this case, the removing of seeds from tiny kumquats.

I stopped at a fruit stand this weekend to look at early strawberries, still can't believe that in December and January they are picking berries in Louisiana but sure enough they were and they are beauties too. So we stopped at the stand and I run with all the grace of a 52 year old woman with mechanic's knees to the stand to check out the berries.  I swear I must have ADHD or something, I looked at the berries, smelled them ( I tend to smell Everything from socks to interesting things fallen from trees), I held the berries and then promptly put them down and picked up Kumquats, paid and went to the truck.  I am proud of my find when the boyfriend looks at me and asks how the berries were?  I so totally forgot about the strawberries and can not for the life of me tell you why I bought kumquats instead.  I have been peeling, freezing and canning citrus for a month and was looking forward to the smell of something different in the house like strawberries.  He was kind enough to wait a little longer so I could go and get what we had actually stopped for.  Nice berries but this is about the kumquat battle.

As I was researching recipes for the little orange orbs, most all the recipes for them called for slicing into beautiful thin discs.  I found that this was WAY too labor intensive as I would be cutting though the amazing amount of seeds the little things contain. First I cut the ends off into little discs as I thought these would make really a really cool garnish for Lemon Drop Martinis if I candied them. (that will be another post unto itself I suppose)
 I tried cutting them in half lengthwise and squeezing the seeds out but this proved to be futile.

So I quartered them length wise and was able to squeeze the seeds out a little better but really?  I am amazed and the amount of seed these things have in them!!!

OK, check this out, 6 cups of kumquats gave me almost 1/2 a cup of seeds! I soaked the seeds for a couple of hours and got a cup of pectin out of it. That's kinda cool but still not worth the effort unless you are mindlessly bored.
Now that I have decided that kumquats are way to labor intensive to become a "product" the pressure is off and I can totally have fun with an "experiment".  I still had the juice and rind from 5 oranges and 2 lemons that I had previously been making Carrot Orange Marmalade with so I added that to the kumquat cuties bringing the total to 8 cups of fruit and juice.  I added 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 5 cups of sugar and let it come to a boil and then brought it down to a simmer while I took care of other stuff. Since this was to become a preserve, I didn't add the pectin that I made from the seeds (that will go into the Satsuma Vanilla Bean jam). I let them simmer for about 2 hours reducing and waiting for the kumquats to become transparent, carefully picking out the seeds as they loosened from the pulp (I fished out an additional 2 tablespoons of seeds!) I wonder why Mother Nature gave Kumquats so very many seeds?
I ended up with 7 half pints of goodness available for the low price of $30!! (Do you have ANY idea what it takes to juice these suckers?? and seed them?? We are talking Labor longer then the birth of my Sun!) Look in the jar to the left....what do you see???  Two evil seeds floating in the goodness.  I am thinking I will send these to my friends in Oregon and Washington, they may not even know what a kumquat is let alone have someone go to the trouble of processing them. The cinnamon is a very nice touch.

Next is Satsuma Vanilla Bean.  You have to pick your battles. This is sure to be a winning combination!


  1. Maybe kumquats have so many seeds because you're not supposed to eat them? Save me some satsuma anything. Can't wait to try that.

  2. You sure can make pectin from them!!!

  3. I eat freshly picked kumquats and they are delish! Can't get them here in Virginia.

    Glad I finally found you, Doris!

  4. Oh My God! My Precious Tara! I was sitting in Taco Bell eating and reading the reply about my blog thinking I knew a Tara and having fond memories and then when I got to the bottom It occurred to me You are That Tara! I let out an Oh my God and my eyes watered and you could hear a pin drop in the place. We Have to catch up!