A co-worker and I were talking about fruit. More our love of fresh foods in any capacity. I've never been a big fruit eater (I prefer veggies), but with the juicing and my CSA, I'm just a yacking machine about this kind of stuff.
"My Grandmother has a kumquat tree in her yard. I'll bring you some," my co-worker said. I walk into the office that Friday morning to a ten pound bag of fresh kumquats! Wow, I said. Thanks!
What the hell was I gonna do with all this freggin' fruit!? Yeah, I asked for it, but truth be told, I'd never really had much experience with kumquats.
|Full bowl of cleaned 'quats.|
The bag (along side the bushel of fresh rosemary that was included, which is now drying hanging from my kitchen window) sat for most of the weekend, until I got my 'push' mentality and decided to use these kumquats for something and not waste this gift.
|It took over an hour to de-seed these 'quats.|
I did a bit of online research and found a multitude of preserves recipes. Canning, I though. I've never freaking canned anything! The fruit was free, and canning can't be *that* expensive, right? I mean people do it all the time. Every American kitchen can be a canning one-okay, I'll stop now.
On Sunday afternoon I went to my local big chain grocery store and picked up a pallet of single pint Mason jars. $12.99. Cool! I also picked up some fruit pectin and some sugar. Those 'quats are something bitter!
|Just put them on the stove.|
By now I had been stewing the 'quits for a good half day. The sugar I used was starting to caramel, which turned the vat a lovely auburn color. I cooked down the mix, added a packet of pectin, and set it to the side.
I got a new stew pot (one I bought just to make popcorn, don't judge me) and sterilized the jars. I set them to cool a bit then loaded them up with stewed 'quat goodness. I boiled the lids for a bit, screwed them on, then did a boiling bath on each jar for about seven minutes. *pink* went the button on the lid. That means the sealing was effective! I got six for six! WOW, canning IS easy!
The jars were cool this morning. From what folks were saying online is that it can take a couple of weeks for the jam, preserves, whatever you want to call it, to 'gel', so to speak. Its still a bit runny, but it's starting to thicken.
I mean, I can't believe it. I just got my ass into canning on a whim! It was easy and fast and required only a $12.99 purchase from me (plus some extra sugar). DOOD! Do you know what this means!? Yes, I think you do. Mama has a new hobby.
Fruit better watch out, there's a new player in town. This gal has a plan. Well, kinda a plan. Well, we will see.
Do you all can?