Maple Kumquat Marmalade E.A.T. #22

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Sometimes I see an ad for a new gadget or appliance that makes me stop and wonder. Wonder why? Wonder at the desperation to come up with the newest thing to sell to people just “because”. The novelty seems to be the thing in itself.

There is an ad for a refrigerator that is showing up everywhere right now that has a camera(s) inside that connects to your phone.  If you have one of these you can always know what you have, or do not have, on hand to eat. Personally this is just too much information for me. One thing I wonder is if when you open this refrigerator does it take pics of you as well? Could this be another social media app- InstaRefrigerator? Has it come to this? You heard it here first!

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Most days I just open the door of my refrigerator and improvise. Improvised recipes can be the best. Finding “hidden food” in the back of the fridge might even lead to a blog post. I happily found a few cartons of kumquats at the back of my “no-camera” fridge a few days ago. I bought them over the holidays, forgot about them, rediscovered them and made marmalade. Part of the fun was the unexpected discovery of these orange orbs still just as plump as the day I bought them.

A marmalade with three ingredients…seeded kumquats, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. It’s as “easy-as-this”.

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Seeding is simple. Cut kumquats in half and seed with a spoon or your fingers. It takes a little time, but can be meditative.

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Thick syrup, softened sweet-tart kumquat marmalade smeared on hearty crusty bread toasted, or not!

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Maple Kumquat Marmalade

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Ingredients:

  • 3 pints of fresh kumquats, rinsed, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place kumquats and maple syrup in non-reactive pan and bring to a low boil. Turn heat to simmer, stirring often. Cook for about 30 minutes or until kumquats are softened to marmalade consistency and juice has thickened. If necessary add a bit of water to mixture as it cooks down.
  2. Ladle marmalade into glass jars. Store chilled for up to 2 months.

Teresa Blackburn     http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

“A Recipe for the Easiest End-of-Summer Lunch”

Simple, very beautiful, delicious, healthy, fresh and locally grown…the  perfect lunch. Can a recipe get more simple than this?

(I think this is a “German Strawberry Tomato”, but it looks like a heart to me.)

(Any heirloom or homegrown tomato is equally delicious.)

Keep it simple, keep it fresh.

“Cicada Colada Cooler”

In my life I have eaten some pretty crazy things. I have eaten lobster roe  freshly caught in the Caribbean. I have chomped on chicken feet in Kuala Lampur. I have eaten fried grasshoppers in Oxaca, eel in Amsterdam, calf’s brains with eggs in West Tennessee, and I could go on and on. But one thing I am not planning on eating this Spring is one of the ever-present Cicadas who dive-bomb us here in Middle Tennessee from dawn til dusk. I was pondering this as I was walking today. I am sure they, like many bugs, or should I say insects, are full of protein, they would be crunchy and if I had to guess they probably taste a bit like “spicy crunchy dirt”. This, alas, is something I will never know.

On a hot day with Cicadas in our hair, crunching underfoot, posing as brooches or tie-pins on our clothes, there is really only one escape. Run inside, get out the blender & whip up a cold colada cocktail with a brittle cicada-like garnish. It will soothe your nerves as you sip and crunch! Sweet Revenge.

“Cicada Colada Cooler”

The “Cicada” Brittle for Garnish part:

Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup each pepitas & roughly chopped pecans, 1/4 cup roughly ground coffee beans, 1 tbsp large grain sea salt & 1 tbsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Measure out all ingredients. Line a 15 x 12 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. It is important to use a sea salt with really big flakes so they will not melt into your brittle mixture.

2. In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar & corn syrup to a boil. Use a pastry brush dipped in warm water to brush sides of pan down where sugar crystals form.


3. Cook until sugar melts, swirling the saucepan until the syrup mixture starts to turn light golden brown. Quickly stir in the nuts, coffee beans, sea salt & red pepper flakes. The mixture might get a bit clumpy when you first add ingredients but it will smooth out  as it comes to a boil again. Swirl skillet & cook until the syrup part becomes a medium caramel. (Doesn’t this mixture look just like a bunch of cicadas in a pan?)

4. Quickly pour hot brittle mixture onto parchment lined pan. Tilt pan to spread thinly. Let cool completely. If in a hurry then pop the pan into the refrigerator.

5. When your Cicada Brittle is cool break up into smaller garnish size pieces & set aside.

The Colada Cooler Cocktail part:

Ingredients for 2-4 cocktails depending on the size glass you choose: 1/4 cup dark rum, 1/2 cup coffee liqueur, 1/2 cup cold fresh-brewed coffee, 2 tbsp milk or cream, 2 tbsp raw sugar & ice cubes

Directions:

1.Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until the mixture becomes very thick. Adjust taste to your liking. Add more ice if necessary to make a frozen drink.

2. Pour frozen Colada mixture into a glass, garnish with a piece of Cicada Brittle, add a straw and sit back to listen to the “Cicada Soundtrack” outside your window.

Note: This could be turned into a “kid friendly” cooler by using chocolate milk & chocolate syrup.

“The 13 Year Cicada” other wise known as “The Great Southern Brood”

Brood XIX (also known as Brood 19 and The Great Southern Brood) is one of 15 separate broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the southeastern United States. Every 13 years, Brood XIX tunnels en masse to the surface of the ground, lays eggs, and then dies off in several weeks.

As of May 2011,[1] cicadas are now emerging throughout an area roughly enclosed by GeorgiaTexasNorth CarolinaMissouriTennessee and Maryland. The next three appearances will be in 2024, 2037 and 2050.

“When life gives you cicadas, make coladas.”