Making a large batch of cumquat marmalade is a perfect time for deep contemplation. Not so much of the fruit themselves, but using the opportunity to completely dissolve into the task of cutting the flesh open, separating the pips, and cooking it up.
It’s a long labour of love if you have cumquats like mine, with small balls of juicy tart fruit that are filled with those pectin producing seeds. You need them out, but you also need them to set your marmalade. Cut, separate, simmer, stir stir stir, test, and bottle. While there’s not a lot of room for nodding off here, you do still need to pay attention, there’s also room for having a good think.
And so the wonderful dissolving process begins.
With hands busy, the task of making marmalade that tastes like sunshine in a jar begins, and with that, like many creative and repetitive tasks- the mind is set free.
To wonder at will, delving deep into ideas that often few other tasks in any given day allow. You need these kind of activities now and then. Busy hands creating something, but also time to slow it all on down, contemplate the intricacies of life, ponder on the importance of speaking up, our moral values as a society (or maybe just how good that sunshiney marmalade is going to taste with a few squares of dark chocolate tonight.)
This cumquat tree was originally planted as a Tree of Life.
The marmalade was loosely based around this recipe.
You had me at the marmalade and dark chocolate Brydie. How delicious. Gorgeous colour in those jars.
It really is the bees knees Jane, dark chocolate and cumquat marmalade. Two squares later…and yep good to go.
Your jam is shimmering with golden life! I adore your tree of life story. I wish I had kept mine. A nurse showed me mine and it was fascinating but I had a hard recovery from a c-section. I am kind of appalled they are incinerated? Hopefully I can share this kind of ritual with my daughter in-laws one day or in a women’s clan sooner.
They really are truly amazing things Zena. I think any stories, ideas and rituals you choose to share and pass on to others can be a powerful thing. You certainly don’t have to have personal experience to be able to do that.
The jam looks divine in that light… i enjoy your reflections on life, intricacies and opportunities… Im thinking if you can grow comquats! I can too…
aww thanks Tamara. Cumquats have been super duper easy to grow. I’ve been really happy with how robust this tree has been over the years. It still just keeps giving.