The Co-op has been working all week, preserving the fantastic kumquat crop from Linda’s trees in Pasadena, and we thank Nora for the introduction.
We made kumquat Earl Grey marmalade, kumquat Earl Grey vanilla marmalade, spiced kumquats in syrup, candied kumquats, caramelized kumquats, spiced kumquat marmalade and the latest batch today, spiced kumquat marmalade with date palm sugar. We went through 70 pounds of sugar, and when I had the last batch on the stove, I ran out! Aacck! Even after I emptied my sugar bowl, the measurement was short! There was no turning back, things were underway, when I remembered that I had a small bag of date palm sugar, or jaggery, an Indian sweet. This sweet has religious significance for Hindus, and the pressed cakes resemble unrefined cane sugar. This worked beautifully. You can see this week’s Co-op production, pretty impressive! Just to give you an idea of how the fruit cooks down, since we do not use commercial pectin to bulk up our products, these five jars of kumquats in spiced syrup are the final product of this very large 8 cup measurement of fresh kumquats. Yeah, it takes a lot of kumquats! Many many thanks to the Co-op members who pitched in to prep, and probably do not want to see another fresh kumquat anytime soon; Chitra, Mary and Mark, Zoe (who showed up with a flat of jars as well), Shan, Nora, Marina and Linda (who both also helped out in the Co-op test kitchen Thursday, too). We do still have more jars coming, as Linda prepped so many that the stock pot is too heavy to move so the canner will come to her house. And I do have some kumquat-cello in the works, too.
When you pick up your distribution, help yourself to some loquat seeds if you or someone you know could use them. These are from a Co-op member’s loquat donation, and loquats do very well here if you have a sunny spot. Maybe we should be urban farming guerillas and surreptitiously plant them everywhere! Sustainability rules!