Archive for March, 2012

Jay

4 March 2012

This is a photo of Priscilla and Jay Edwards from August, 2010. Summers, I try to make it to my cousin Pam’s summer cottage in the Adirondacks of New York, along with my parents.  We love the lake, the smell of the pines, the abundant home-cooked meals, and the conversations.  For a number of years it has been a tradition for Pam to invite Priscilla and Jay for dinner while my parents are visiting, for a big yummy meal and Priscilla’s home-made applesauce cake with maple syrup icing.  Priscilla and Jay both grew up in the nearby town, Edinburg, and Pam is a “summer person” but Pam became good friends with Priscilla, who is the town historian.  Pam becomes friends with just about everyone, but my family also really enjoys conversations with the Edwards.

Jay was killed in an accident with his logging truck last week.  He wasn’t on the road and nobody else was injured.  He was 72.  Jay was full of stories about life in the Adirondacks, which he happily recounted over beer and good food. Logging is a dangerous job and Jay had survived all sorts of harrowing adventures (according to his stories) with his truck.  He’ll be much missed by his community, and my next summertime trip to Pam’s camp will be missing some Adirondack tall tales.

As old as me

3 March 2012

The year I was born, my mom mailed in enough “proof of purchase” seals or possibly box tops to receive a dixie cup containing a miniature orange tree.    She gave me the tree some years ago, and I have variously under-watered it to the point of near-death and also cared for it regularly.  It spends half  of each year outdoors and half indoors, and every so often (not annually) it produces fragrant blossoms that sometimes result in tiny, sour fruit.

This past year was one of those years, and the tree came up with a total of 12 little oranges.  My husband asked to be allowed to eat one, and I let him.  He said it was very sour.  Huh.  Well, my mother once incorporated the fruit into a marmalade/jam with blueberries that was pretty yummy, so I thought I ought to try something with the remaining eleven.

Some, I brined like Moroccan preserved lemons:

Sliced mostly through and salted

In a jar, getting juicy

And sometime in the future maybe they will get eaten.  It is an experiment, but if it works for lemons it might work for these things.

The other thing I tried doing was candying.  I was inspired by the idea that one could do this with kumquats, and while these are a little bigger than kumquats it seemed like sugar could only improve their flavor.  So I made syrup and boiled them up and canned them, with a few cloves for fun.  I have no idea how I will use these in the future, but it may involve alcoholic beverages.  Speaking of which, I now have some leftover citrus/clove flavored simple syrup.  Hmmm.

Ready to be boiled

From left to right: candied, leftover syrup, brined.

Perhaps someday I will let you all know how they turned out.