I was in the garden and my daughter came out and said "why do we have a bag full of tiny mandarins inside"?
"Oh they're cumquats, for making marmalade" I replied. These were gathered from a tree dripping with fruit going to waste, found after a great day of vegie grouping on Friday (read about it here).
I suggested she could make it, not really expecting a positive response, but she nodded with excitement.
I explained what to do and came inside later to this vision, what a self sufficient little 10 year old she is.
All the hard work done, taking the pips out is the bad bit about making cumquat marmalade.
I gave the cumquats some extra snipping with the scissors (my favourite lazy kitchen tool), they were a lovely juicy thin skinned variety. We weighed almost a kilo of cumquats and added the same in sugar and 1 litre of water - then the big one stirred and stirred and simmered and stirred and it took a long time to set. I showed her the cold saucer test but the marmalade kept merging back to together - I would add less water next time. I actually added a jar of some homemade pectin to speed things along, I made this with Christine last year and was pleased to use some as we have heaps in our cupboard.
I was so proud of her persistence! Scooping out any missed pips.
Watching the jam didn't burn for over an hour.
I did the jar sterilising and ladling but almost all the rest of the work was done for me! Wonder if she will volunteer so readily again?
The end result, wonderfully set delicious cumquat marmalade - my favourite! We all enjoyed some on some home made fruity sour dough.
While all the production happened, the rest of the family played games.