Kumquat Cara-Cara Marmalade, Game 5
Now, THAT was close!!!!
Last night’s Game 5 with the Lakers beating the Suns by just ONE basket had my stomach in knots! I had an ulcer the entire 4th quarter! On top of this, the last 15 seconds I scared bebe E and made her cry twice! :( The first time, I made her cry because of my frustration that the Lakers would allow the Suns, was it THREE, 3-point attempts? The third attempt tied-up the game at 101 – 101. HELLO – where’s the Lakers’ rebounding / defense?!??? The second time, I made bebe E cry because Ron (again, we are on a first name basis with the Lakers) made the winning follow-up shot after Kobe came up short – – – to WIN the game 103 – 101. The series is now 3 – 2 with the Lakers leading.
I’m so relieved the Lakers won last night. Since their Game 4 loss on Tuesday night, I’ve been in a funk. If you’re asking yourself, “Is she serious?!?” Yes, I’m totally serious. That’s just how it is in L.A. We (mostly) love our Lakers, and when things aren’t right with the Lakers, life in L.A. just doesn’t seem right. Just to torture myself, I even listened to ESPN on AM radio on our drive up to visit my parents Wednesday morning. FYI, I NEVER listen to ESPN in the morning so there was definitely something wrong with me. Usually, I play classical lullaby music for bebe E so that she has a pleasant, sleepy ride to L.A., but there were no lullabies after Game 4. I practically spent 45 minutes listening to other angry and disappointed Lakers fans complain about the Lakers horrible defense, the bad fouls, lack of rebounds, their lack of intensity, their laziness and overconfidence, bad calls by the referees and on and on.
Yesterday, I was still in a funk when I was thinking about what I could make for our game night dinner. I didn’t follow our regular Lakers game day superstitions. I didn’t dress bebe E in her Lakers onesie (I needed to do laundry but was too lazy) and my Lakers t-shirt was also in the dirty laundry hamper (again, too lazy and slightly too depressed to wash it). Instead, bebe E wore her Paul Frank onesie, proudly sporting the funny monkey on her chest, and I wore, of all things, a GREEN shirt. Yes, it was as GREEN as the Celtics that I loathe. Go figure. So rather than making dinner last night (since Game 4 dinner didn’t bring the Lakers any magic), I decided we would eat whatever leftovers that we had in the fridge (dinner was a bit grim), and instead I started making kumquat marmalade in the afternoon. Sounds funky, huh?
About two weeks ago, we went to visit my in-laws and their kumquat tree was just begging to have it’s fruit picked. Big onechan picked a bagful of kuquats for me and when we got home, I picked off all the stems, washed them, then placed them in a large bowl in the fridge. For two weeks, the kumquats just sat in the fridge until yesterday. I didn’t really know what to do with them.
I don’t really like kumquats and I’ve never really cooked with them so this was a new experience for me. I used to see these in our house growing up because my mom would either buy them or get them from a friend’s backyard. I think we even had a small potted kumquat tree but I don’t know what happened to it. Anyway, as a child I remember having eaten a kumquat or two but I always thought it was weird that the peel was edible and I never grew to like the sour and bittersweet taste of this fruit. My friend recently made candied kumquats with just the peel of the kumquat and I thought about making these but then changed my mind since I knew I likely wouldn’t eat them.
Then I remembered my mom used to make a Japanese dessert with kumquats called kinkan kanroni, which is basically candied whole kumquats (I don’t like these either) and I thought about making this for my mom but decided against it due to health concerns. That’s when I remembered my mom still makes jam using over-ripe fruit, and all she does is throw it in a pot, add a little water and sugar and let it cook for awhile.
I did a little marmalade recipe research on FoodNetwork.com and AllRecipes.com but those for kumquats didn’t have good reviews and the orange marmalade recipes seemed pretty generic. I basically followed my mom’s lead and just “winged-it” to make kumquat marmalade. I intended to write down the proportions of ingredients that I added to the pot, but of course, I didn’t actually write them down thinking I would remember. I’d like to blame my lack of attention to detail on bebe E who was distracting me, or my post-Game 4 Lakers funk, but the reality is that age combined with lingering post-pregnancy-bad-memory issues has resulted in the following best-guesstimate recipe. (When I went back and re-read the recipe, I noticed a “3 – 4” pattern, but I’m going to stand by those guesstimates.)
Kumquat Cara Marmalade
- 80 kumquats (about 4 cups sliced)
- 3 – 4 cara cara oranges
- About 3 – 4 cups water
- 3 – 4 cups white sugar
- Splash of apple juice
Slice kumquats in half, remove seeds, then slice into fourths or sixths.
For a little fruit, some of them had REALLY big seeds.
I had some long-forgotten cara cara oranges in the fridge so I peeled and diced these and added this to the marmalade as well. They were quite ugly on the outside but when I cut them open, they were still full of juice and sweet. They didn’t go to waste! The chunks of cara cara orange gives the kumquat marmalade great texture (those are the lighter chunks of fruit you see in the featured marmalade photograph at the top of the post).
In a large pot bring sliced kumquats to boil with oranges, skim foam, reduce heat to medium – low. Add sugar (I would recommend going with the lesser amount of 3 cups) and a splash of apple juice. Are you asking yourself, “Why apple juice?” Many of the marmalade recipes recommended the use of lemon, but when I bit into a kumquat yesterday, to say that it was tart, doesn’t do it justice. It was down-right SOUR. It was the kind of sour that was beyond your lips and face puckering. It made my toes curl, hair stand, and I actually let out an unpleasant squeal that startled bebe E. It was THAT sour. This is why I didn’t add lemon. It might have added a refreshing layer of flavor to the marmalade, but I wasn’t interested in adding anything else that was sour. I wanted to add a splash of orange juice to the marmalade but since I didn’t have any and all I had was apple juice, well, that’s what I threw in. :)
Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally. I didn’t exactly keep track of how long I cooked the marmalade and it might have actually been more like 1 to 2 hours. The liquid should reduce, but there should still be sufficient liquid for the “jelly” to form.
After letting the marmalade cool, it did jellify and while it’s sweet it’s not TOO sweet. I would have been happier with even less sugar since the kumquat marmalade wasn’t as bitter or as tart as I expected it to be. I tried some this morning with bread I bought at the Mitsuwa bakery yesterday. It’s a bread I always used to buy in Japan called Danish bread. It’s rich, buttery, and very moist with a flakey crust. I haven’t had this bread in years! I don’t eat toast for breakfast anymore, so this morning was a bit of an anomaly, but a good one at that. The marmalade was the perfect compliment to my toast.
Stay tuned… I hope to make some baked goodies today with the kumquat marmalade. :) I didn’t preserve the marmalade since I’m planning to use most of it, but if you’re interested, Alton Brown had wonderful details on how to preserve marmalade. He’s great for “technical” things like that.
I’m in a much better mood today with the Lakers win last night, and I’m no longer in a funk! It looks like all we needed was a little kumquat marmalade to stir things up and get the Lakers back on track. I’d like to say that I’m no longer superstitious, but I’m thinking on Saturday I will need to forget about game night dinner, and go with something off-beat, again.
Judy | bebe mama
- 80 kumquats (about 4 cups sliced)
- 3 - 4 cara cara oranges
- About 3 - 4 cups water
- 3 - 4 cups white sugar
- Splash of apple juice
- Slice kumquats in half, remove seeds, then slice into fourths or sixths.
- For a little fruit, some of them had REALLY big seeds.
- Peele and dice cara cara oranges.
- In a large pot bring sliced kumquats to boil with oranges, skim foam, reduce heat to medium - low. Add sugar (I would recommend going with the lesser amount of 3 cups) and a splash of apple juice.
- Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until liquid reduces. Stir occasionally.
- Allow marmalade to cool. Enjoy on toast, or try the marmalade with short-bread thumbprint cookies (See Recipe page).