Take me back to kumquat land.

The word “kumquat” means nothing to me anymore.

A loving and lovely friend gifted to me many pounds of kumquats. I have asked for them and desired them and should she say “I have more!” I would thrill with delight. That is why I write this post tonight, when I should be sleeping, my paws sticky with dreams and sugar. To remind me.

Last night I looked at those lovely piles of golden fruit and realized that, nice however they look mounded in bowls (yes, plural) on my kitchen table, they would begin to turn (unfortunately, on me) should I ignore them much longer. I began washing, slicing, de-seeding.

Kumquats have a lot of seeds.

Hours later, TMoTH had given up on me and gone off to bed. I had just arrived at the place in Return of the King (unabridged audio) where Aragorn and Gandalf lead their hardy warriors to what is believed to be their doomed last stand. They meet with the mouth of Sauron. I sliced my last kumquat.

Twenty-two cups o’ kumquat.

Each recipe calls for 2.

I use more orange in each batch of Kumquat Marmalade than I use kumquats.

See? The word means nothing to me any longer.

Here is the pot:

I love chemistry.

I love chemistry.

Here I am cooling the marmalade, while not disturbing its “fast boil”, by raising ladlesful.

Burned sugar.

Burned sugar.

Here I am with gross burned sugar stove, thanks to boiled-over marmalade. Raising ladlesful did not work. Hmm… internal temperature of the whole bucket must have just reached a fun peak, and laughed at my pioneer efforts.

But finally,

Jars in mid-process.

Jars in mid-process.

five hours later, I began to see the light at the end of the glass jar.

Look! Stuff.

Jars of marmalade.

Jars of marmalade.

I will give my friend a jar.

And I will try to figure out how to use up the remaining 18 cups of kumquat.

Another batch will likely be made. But then? Anyone? A good bread recipe, perhaps?

On the schooling front:
Geeklet has really been into the weather lately. We’ve been reading The Magic School Bus in a Hurricane and The Magic School Bus Visits the Waterworks and both talk about clouds, the water cycle, storms, etc. So the Boy has been doing daily weather observations and posting them. He reports to me his findings, I write them on a chalkboard in our kitchen, and he draws what he has seen. If he has a drawing that fits the day already, we post that.

He’s been tying knots in everything today, a fine-motor skill that has not been all that interesting to him until today.

As yesterday was baking day and today was evidently marmalade day, there was a lot of counting to be done. (Oh, and I worked on a warp, too. More counting.) He helped me with the fractions–a third of a cup of lemon juice per recipe, and I’m making two, makes two-thirds of a cup of lemon juice. If I have to measure out oats, and I need a cup of oats, which measuring cups can I use? Which one will fit through the opening in the jar? The 1/4c. How many of these do I need to make one cup? He also played in his kitchen, playing that he was making apricot preserves, and mimicking my actions, except that he was adamant that he would use a 4-cup measure instead of using the 1-cup measure four times.

He helped me weed, and we saw many ladybugs, and some aphids, and an interesting striped insect. Boy G took out the magnifying glass gifted to him on Beltane and was describing each insect to me, trying to find damage done by aphids or other insects, and trying to find very new baby peas on the vines.

He played with the video camera. He told the camera a story about a train in trouble, then used the camera to “introduce” the camera to Hershey, in essence telling a short documentary about Hershey. He was very gentle with the camera, and asked a lot of questions about telling stories.

He played in the water a lot in the bathroom sink, and at one point brought an empty bottle out, which he’d filled with soapy water. I gave him a clear jar (he wanted to “examine” a “sample”) and he poured it in, then we talked about why the little tiny bubbles rose to the top, what the bubbles were filled with, how it looked, and so forth.