Let's just not talk about why we've been out of touch for so long, it will only make it more awkward. Let's just be happy to be reunited.
About a month ago a friend gave DR a giant bag of kumquats from a back yard tree. If you didn't already know this, I am THRILLED beyond measure to help you eat your overwhelming backyard bounty. I can't think of very many things I would rather do than take a bag of homegrown produce off your hands. Bring on the late summer crook neck squash overflow, I promise to be just as willing to take that as I am to take your figs and avocados and your tangerine jam.
Though I am pretty sure there was no danger of them going bad since I was eating about five a day, I decided to take about a quarter of the kumquats and do an experiment I had been dying to try, preserving them. Actually, I had been dying to try preserving Meyer Lemons. Doesn't that just sound like all the good parts of being in a harem in Turkey around 900 AD? Preserved Meyer Lemons, so middle eastern, salty and sweet and sour. I'm afraid I missed the season on them this year, but I did have the kumquats and that almost seems more exotic.
It is also widely simple.
Rinse about 3 cups of kumquats. Cut a slit lengthwise down one side to the center (halfway). Put the fruit in a 3-4 cup jar with 2-3 tablespoons drained capers and a 1/4 cup kosher salt.
Now, besides just eating them what do you do with Preserved Kumquats? Why you make Kumquat-Red Pepper Relish!
4 preserved kumquats and 4 capers
1 7 oz jar peeled roasted red peppers. (I admit it, I bought a jar of roasted peppers. I could have roasted them myself, yes, of course I could have. But I didn't. Alright? I bought them.)
1 garlic clove
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
Rinse the kumquats and capers. (Important to not dehydrate yourself from all the salt) Coarsely chop kumquats, discarding seeds. (They have seeds!? I ate about 50 of these whole! Are kumquat trees growing in my stomach?!) Drain and chop red peppers. Mince garlic. In a bowl mix everything together. Serve or cover and chill up to two days. (I think about 8 hours is good to let it all marry together.)
I think this would be lovely poured over a cream cheese and spread on crackers. If I ever get around to making cream cheese (and crackers for that matter) I will do just that. But I served it for a lovely dinner with DR, my friend lex and her friend Josh. I hope Josh liked it because I found when the chicken was almost done that he was a vegetarian, so this was the bulk of his meal. He charmingly ate the potatoes that were roasted under the chicken...Anyway, I served the relish mixed with baby spinach, 1/4 cup cilantro, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil for a lovely spinach salad.
I'm unapologetically going to get another jar of peppers and make this again. (Peppers aren't in season, or I would roast them... in fact, I will this summer, promise, I just got a hibachi.)