The kumquats have been spectacular this year! Not only are they cheerful, little orange balls set in leafy green trees, they’re tasty—and the world’s best, natural breath-fresheners. Our two potted trees produce so much that we get to share with friends.

The best recipe I know for cooking with them is the Chicken with Kumquat recipe in Amelia Saltsman’s classic, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Order yours on Amazon (there are so many other amazing recipes in it, too).

While you wait for her book to arrive in the mail, make a kumquat purée to brighten your quarantinis during this lockdown! I made a ton and shared with friends. The bonus of making the purée is the prize that’s offered when you strain it: kumquat marmalade! 

Here’s my recipe:

2 cups kumquats

1 ½ cup sugar

2 cups water

Slice kumquats in half and remove the seeds. (This is very easy to do.) Add sugar to the water and boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the kumquats and cook for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Blend in a mixer, then strain. Use the liquid for your ’tinis and the cooked and sweet skins as marmalade on toast or stirred into yogurt.

Best to sip in the garden, at around 6:00pm. Don’t let the odor of DEET interfere with the bright smell of citrus. Instead, drape your Shoo for Good wrap over your shoulders to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Enjoy the moment.

June 14, 2020 — Christy Hobart

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