Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cumquats and Ginger

Help!!!!!!!!! DF is out in my sauce vat with a sterilised metal ruler, and keeps measuring the depth of the sauce and making calculations to see if he can work out at what point of reduction my bottling point is (and has calculated the volume of bottles needed so I don't sterilise too many). Help!!!!!!!!

In the meantime, I need to explain the ginger.

Which means I need to explain the cumquats.

I have a large cumquat tree in a corner of the garden, and have been known to make Cumquat Brandy. This goes back to college days, when you used to sneak out at midnight, going back to trees you had already found, growing over fences, laden with cumquats.

So, first, you catch your cumquats (with apologies to Mrs Beeton).

You then carefully wash and weigh them, then piece them all over with a meat skewer, and loosely fill a bottle (plastic top is good).

You then taken an equal weight of white sugar, and pour into the bottle, then fill the bottle to the top with brandy. Shake well. Experts then vary. You can put them on a warm window-sill and turn once a day, or put them in a cool, dark spot and turn every so often.

The sugar will soon dissolve. The longer they are kept (years!) the better they are.

Drinking the brandy is an acquired taste - I love it. You can either eat the cumquats, or slice them onto steak.

I have been know to freeze them, then chop them in half and drip quickly into melted chocolate and keep in fridge. They are stunning.

Do you need to ask why I planted a cumquat tree very early on????


Oh, yes. I buy one root of fresh ginger in the supermarket and roughly peel. I then thinly slice it, and put it in a bottle with a similar amount of sugar and cover well with brandy. It keeps forever. As I completely use up the ginger, and I just add more. And sometimes a bit more sugar.

I haven't died from it yet, and it seems to keep for ever. I mainly use the ginger sliced in stir-fry, or in sauce and preserves.

But once upon a time I had been know to chop it up and stir it into melted chocolate too.


Post a Comment

<< Home