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February 6, 2009

Easter-y Kumquat Chutney

(Vegetarian Times article illustration)

When I was growing up in the midwest, rain showers would make me think of spring flowers. Here in LA, when it rains, it pours....cold winter floods. The best way to waste a rainy day in my leaky frigid house is to slow-cook something fragrant. So today, I took advantage of a pause in the torrent to run over to my old apartment complex. There's a wonderful kumquat tree there that I really enjoyed when I was a resident. Since I left, they've chopped it to nothing but a spindly arm of a branch. It makes me cry to see it so butchered, but I know in a few years it will have come back from the cutting. Anyway, I brought a bag with me this afternoon and picked, intending to fill a five-quart stockpot, but was only able to get about four cups of kumquats.

This chutney recipe came in an issue of Vegetarian Times when I was living next to the kumquat tree. It was as if someone knew I'd been staring at these tiny orbs, wondering how to enjoy them. That first year that I made this chutney, I took it home for Easter weekend and served it poured over a block of cream cheese. It made a wonderful cracker spread.

So, in honor of midwest spring rains, and the memory of that Easter, today I decorated my four small jars with an Easter-y pink-and-green polka dotted pattern.

(my final product)

Do you have any neighbors that share their produce with you? Or grow any yourself? Tell me about your favorite local produce and share canning recipes in a comment below.

Kumquat Chutney
Vegetarian Times Issue: October 1, 2006 p.64

Ingredient List
Makes 1 cup
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup sliced kumquats (about 16)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add kumquats and onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is softened.
2. Stir in sugar and 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Cool, and store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Nutritional Information
Per TABLESPOON: Calories: 26, Protein: g, Total fat: 1g, Saturated fat: g, Carbs: 4g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 2mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 3g

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