The citrus fruit are miraculously good this year. There’s a bit of fruit fly damage here and there, but our haul of golden treasure is beyond miraculous. For a start, the satsuma tree excelled after “resting” in 2017:
Peeling the fruit sets free an intense fragrance… eating them is a blessing.
The tree is still quite small, but it is doing better since we lopped some height off the hedge and cut the overbearing oleander down to size.
Meanwhile, the lemon-cum-orange tree has produced another bumper crop of the first type of fruit, and none of the second; although, as most of the lemons are actually more orange in colour, it seems to be playing around a bit. They categorically do not taste like oranges!
The branches here are in reasonably good condition. They were twice sprayed with a concoction of liquid Castile soap, vinegar and cayenne pepper. This seems to have knocked the mealy bugs and other pests well and truly for six. I didn’t manage to cover the whole tree, however, so quality and appearance of the fruit are variable. The highest fruit, seen from a bedroom window, are covered in white honeydew.
Just as I was juicing lemons like nobody’s business and filling the freezer with bags of juice cubes, the limes came on-stream. The little tree near the plum has done quite well. Limes in Egypt are wonderful, small in size and with thin peel, yet bursting full of juice:
The bigger and older lime tree in the kitchen garden is, as you may know, one that I regard with extreme caution as it never fails to stab me in the head, or back, or limbs whenever I work – or walk – anywhere near it. In spite of our love-hate relationship, however, it has bestowed a bountiful harvest on us this year. Oh joy!
(Photo is a bit strange: It had to be taken from a safe distance!)
Now, the kumquat is full of ripening fruit and I’m back in the kitchen for the marmalade-making process. First, the fruit lowest on the tree:
Once this lot are picked, there’s a whole load more above…
For every kilo of kumquats I add one lemon, weighing in at around 200g, to add to the pectin level and introduce a little “bite” into an otherwise rather sweet product; a disturbing amount of sugar (about 1kg) and water. That’s all. No artificial additives and no chemicals of any kind, at least on the fruit.More to come on this, I expect, as there are scores of fruit left on the tree. I’ll be making marmalade until Christmas… If you would like the recipe, please look under The Yum Factor