Tuesday, March 13, 2012


on the left, the sudden snowstorm that caught me on my way home. I was covered in snow, and I only had a half-block walk from the bus stop! On the right, the weather some 20 minutes later: bright sunshine, the snow that had accumulated already melted.

I am still hoping for a decently warm spring and summer and a good growing season this year. We are getting there, by degrees - after all, the sun *did* come back (of course, then it snowed again later!).

I had some kumquats I needed to eat or use up somehow, so I candied them. The process is pretty simple. You make a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, brought to a boil and then simmered for 2 minutes). Cut up kumquats - slices, halves, whatever's your fancy (or leave them whole, but prick the skins in a few places with a pin so they don't explode). Add them to the boiling sugar syrup, reduce heat, and simmer (to be honest, I kept mine at a really low boil instead) for 10 minutes (longer if they are whole). Strain out the kumquats and place in a jar. increase heat and reduce syrup until it thickens. Mine is quite gelatinous (maybe the natural pectins in citrus are involved?). Pour hot syrup over kumquats, let cool, and then either seal up and refrigerate (they'll keep a few weeks like this, in the fridge) or serve over ice cream, whatever's your fancy.

That little jar in the front? Extra syrup. I am saving it for making cocktails - it's really nice!

Still not done tying that scarf. I'm about halfway done with the last side, though - so, soon!

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