Kumquat Marmalade

What a funny and delicious little fruit. Let me give you a few Kumquat fact's. The fruit is delicious sweet yet tangy. This fruit resembles a miniature orangey-lemonish fruit.

A Kumquat tree resembles an olive tree when fruit is in season. They bare hundreds of oval shaped little fruit's. The inside is tender and tart with the skin holding all the sugar.

This is my first time making this marmalade and I did my studies with regards to the how to. With all the Marmalade recipes out there they are a dime a dozen. But one name stood out and I semi-followed David's recipe.

Remember have all your tools and fruit ready. This is a time consuming recipe so give your self two day's . One to slice and soak the peel and your feet!  I say this because those little shit's fruit devils are needy.
I did spend a day telling Pa how " I was going to do it different and it was going to be so easy" NOT !

Wait come back don't run away it will be fine when you slather it on your toast with tea during Downtown Abby. Oh ok enough let us get started. This will give you approximately 6 to 7 half pints.

Ingredients for Kumquat Marmalade

1 pound of kumquats
2 lemons
4 1/2 cups of water
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups of sugar

The first thing I want you to do is thinly slice your lemon's and place them with 1/2 cup cold water into your non-reactive pot. They should be covered. Simmer your peels for about 10 minutes on low. Do this while your still cutting the little kum's. Once the 10 minutes has past turn off the burner and let them sit.

Here are my many slicing pictures because there is a method. Here it is in a nut shell but look at the pictures.

A. Cut off the ends

B. Slice off the ends on each on leaving the center 

C. Take the centers and remove the pith and cut into thin slices.

**Save the pith & seeds for pectin**

Just below is what you should end up with lot's of !

Take the pot the lemon peels are in and toss the water but keep the peels.

Now add the kumquat peels and the lemon peels into the pot with the 4 cups of water. Why 4 you should have used the 1/2 to blanch the lemons. Take all your peels and put them into your Non-reactive Pot.

Time to make the pectin pack!

I do have a post on how to make your own pectin but rather than go there here is a quick reminder. When you chopped and peeled the citrus you should have saved the pith and seed's. This is natural pectin found in most citrus.

Pack up the stuff and tie your cheese cloth with some kitchen string.

Place the cheese cloth pouch into your pot.
Make sure the pouch is covered to cook the stuff well. Bring everything to a rolling boil, stir well and then shut it off. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered over night. It is ok not to refrigerate!

Ok the next day which is today you need to return your pot to the stove. Add your sugar and orange juice and bring the mixture up to a rolling boil. Now turn the heat to medium and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes has passed remove the pectin pouch put it into a small bowl and let it cool.

 Look at that beautiful pectin !!!

Pour your pectin into the pot and bring the mixture up to a rolling boil and keep stirring until it get to the right temperature 220 to set.

 Remember to use your spoon and plate test for gelling.

Once it has reached the gel point turn off the heat skim the foam.

Let your marmalade cool slightly this way when you jar it up it will make sure the peels and guts get distributed evenly through out your delicious marmalade.

Ladle into jars leaving a 1/4" head space, wipe the rims, cap and water bath time.

Give them a bath 15 minutes is my standard time 

I hope you all will embrace Marmalade's the way I have in the last few year's.

Pectin - What - How -Why

Boxed Pectin
Pectin this is such a simple yet complex topic. I have done several posts on this topic. I have done post on Natural Pectin , Using Pectin, Gel topic the list goes on and on. Pectin question's as well as answers are all over the Internet. Today Marie had a simple question but it got me going ! Again!

Natural Pectin

Her questions was posted in so many words

"Your Apricot Jam has your water-bath time as 10 minutes BUT I read that it should be 5 or less is that correct?"

I did not put in my post that my jars were pints thus the extra time. BUT I of course had to go do research on the whole time with jams and water-bath method using pectin. The questions and answers are endless and I noticed I never really got a straight answer. So this little mind decided to take them all and try to explain some of the "facts" and you know my definition of the word fact

FACT- Foolish Actions Causing Troubles

Let us get started:

The definition of Pectin according to WWW

Pectin :

noun :
a water-soluble carbohydrate, obtained from certain ripe fruits, which yields a gel that is the basis of jellies and jams. Any of a group of water-soluble colloidal carbohydrates of high molecular weight found in ripe fruits, such as apples, plums, and grapefruit, and used to jell various foods, drugs, and cosmetics


The main use for pectin (vegetable agglutinate) is as a gelling agent, thickening agent and stabilizer in food. The classical application is giving the jelly-like consistency to jams or marmalade's, which would otherwise be sweet juices. Pectin also reduces synthesis in jams and marmalade's and increases the gel strength of low calorie jams. For household use, pectin is an ingredient in gelling sugar (also known as "jam sugar") where it is diluted to the right concentration with sugar and some citric acid to adjust pH. In some countries, pectin is also available as a solution or an extract, or as a blended powder, for home jam making. For conventional jams and marmalade's that contain above 60% sugar and soluble fruit solids, high-ester pectin's are used. With low-ester pectin's and amidated pectin's less sugar is needed, so that diet products can be made.

Pectin Question with best answer's Canarella can give you! 


Lemon, Limes and What Not

Well it is truly the Lemon season out here in California right now.

I had a bumper crop of what I thought were Meyer Lemons. Come to find out with the drought and my frugal watering my poor little Meyer's are more like Lime's.

The more I sliced them the greener they got. But as most of us will do, we want to use all fruit and veggies even if it means we create a new Jam. The little Fake Lime's are so tart you can barely lick without your whole face going into a contortion.

So as I juiced them I tried to think of different thing I could use them for. They are tart beyond tart!

Look how green the juice is. 

On a brighter note we are cranking out some killer Marmalade with these Lemon I got from a friend in another county.

 She has a gorgeous Lemon tree on her front lawn that is stuffed full of beautiful lemo

I was lucky enough to get a bag full. I took a class up in Oakland at the June Taylor's Still Room. The class was informative and full of idea's. 

 Well enjoy your week and I will tell you how this Marmalade turn's out.

This is a picture of my first marmalade on some of my homemade toast!


Blueberry Mango Jam

Blueberry and Mango Jam this is a good combo. Blueberry Jam has to be one of my favorite Jam and the list of add on's are endless. Mango is one thing that is ready available here in California half the year. Well let us get started with this delicious Jam.

This will make app 8 to 10 half pints.


6 cups of blueberry
3 cups chopped mango
5 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (optional)
1 box powder pectin

Get your Stainless Steel pot ready and put your Blueberries and chopped Mango together in the pot. Bring them to a nice simmer. You will see the blueberries breaking down and the juice accumulate.

Take your potato masher or any tool you use to break down the fruit and start to break them down.
You want to make the consistency of your jam to your liking. I like my fruit only broken down enough to make sure I get a nice bites of fruit in every batch. That is why we call it "jam"

Aright now that you have it to the right consistency add your lemon juice and let this simmer for 5 minutes.

Now add you pectin mixture to the batch and turn up the heat. Bring your ingredients up to a rolling boil that can not be stirred down.  Keep stirring you do not want burnt jam. Once the boil is up add your sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil you can not stir down. Get your jam to the gel point and turn the heat off. Let your jam sit for 5 minutes while to get your clean warm jars ready.

 Fill your jar until they are 1/4 inch of head space and wipe the rim clean. Top with your seal and twist lid and process for 10 minutes into water bath.

When done lift out of the water bath and let cool overnight or at least eight hours. Label and store no twist tie left on.


Prevent Hard Water Stains when Pressure Canning

 Hard Water Stains on my jar's when Pressure Canning

To prevent hard water stains on your jars as well as keeping your Pressure Canner clean you should add 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to the water prior to canning.

The jars to the left had no vinegar in the water thus the white cloudy ring. This in no way will harm your jars or food.


Any 5% vinegar will work. Put in in prior to warming your water or adding your jar's.  The jars with the potato's were Pressure Canned with the vinegar added to the canner.

 Wa La Simple and Easy Tip enough said !

National Center for Home Preservation is the place to go for information and safety information

Pressure Canning Meat

Yesterday's post brought a slew of questions on Pressure Canning Beef. In Darlene's post she made a point of having you cook your beef drain and re-dry. And another follower Dawn go me to think that this is a needed post.

Good Question is :

Why dry or rinse your beef?

Here is some information on Selecting, Preparing and Pressure Canning your beef recipes.
This post will pretty much handle most of your ground beef questions.  You have to make sure your meat is fresh and chilled. Ground meat may be sauteed without shaping. Cook your beef until it is lightly brown and no red meat or juice is running in your pan. Remove excess fat. You can rinse your beef under hot water this will get rid of most of the fat. Fill jars with meat. Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving 1-inch head space. Add 2 teaspoons of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.

Adding  sage to beef will give it a bitter flavor. Here is a chart for times and pressure.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Ground or Chopped Meat in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot Pints 75 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90 11 12 13 14

Here is the link to more information and the link I use for all my questions and Safety Answers
National Center for  Home Food Preservation.

Beef "It's whats for Dinner"