Contemplating Cumquat Marmalade

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.)

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This cumquat tree was originally planted as a Tree of Life.

The marmalade was loosely based around this recipe.

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just a little bread and jam

lime marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

lime marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

Jam in summer, marmalade in winter. That’s how it seems to roll around these parts. A steady supply of preserved seasons to go with the endless sourdough that seems to drift out of my oven. It’s a simple pleasure that never ever gets old.

What have you been preserving lately?

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For something a little different, have a peak at ABC’s Organic Gardener magazine- feeling pretty happy to be squeezed in between the lovely likes of fermentation king Sandor Katz and Kate of Foxs Lane.

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

lime and orange marmalade

If I could choose one thing to successfully grow I would have a lime tree.

A happy one that just insisted on giving and giving with lime after lime.

Yes, that’s what I’d have. No lime tree here, but I do have the occasional access to a short stumpy happy lime tree that gives up plump juicy limes just begging to be picked. Actually the limes didn’t have a choice, plucked from their leafy foliage, and slung into a box rather unceremoniously. I had marmalade on my mind as my stocks were low after last years batch of Cumquat and Lime Marmalade and I needed my citrus fix.

Lime and Orange Marmalade

limes thinly sliced

oranges peeled (I only used the flesh, not the skin)

chopped fruit in a bowl, (I used half orange, half lime) water just over the top, and soaked over night

weigh it all, and equal amount in sugar

cooked up, until marmalade passes the saucer test.