The Art of Sharing

Ever wonder about the high cost of food and how people deal with it. In Hawaii, it’s more significant as food and goods not available on the islands come in from the mainland. I try and buy locally and just enough for a week or two to eliminate food waste in our house. In my three years back on the island, I notice this is one of the most significant ways we deal with the high cost is sharing our food.

Just this week, I get a call from my cousin “M” and if we wanted a soursop. Of course, it’s a yes. It’s Mom’s favorite. Right before she hangs up, I ask if she wants kale.

Soursop chilling in the refrigerator

“Sure!” she replies.

And the cycle repeats itself many times over in many Hawaii households. To me, this is the art of sharing. 

What’s a soursap?

I realized I may have never described what a soursop was like. This is because I haven’t tried it. Green gnarly fruit kind of scare me since being introduce to durian (Southeast Asia’s beloved fruit). On first meeting, soursop looks like a relative of durian–big, green, and knobby. But it doesn’t smell.

The inside is creamy white with large black seeds with no bad smell. My cousin recommends to put it in the freezer for a refreshing snack.

Another sharing moment

Guava trees are fruiting now. Trees brought to the house by the birds that my mom feed every morning. Fruit are slightly larger than a golf ball. First three guava wen to the bird (not intentional), got the next three. Beautifully pink inside.

Thrifty Finds

I volunteer at the Kuakini Hospital Thrift Store, as it reopen after being closed for about 8 months because of COVID. It so much fun being there looking all the fun thing that are donated to the shop. Here are few goodies that I found today as I straighten up the shelves in between customers

Many of these I wanted but I just have no more space at the house. I may pick up the banana coin purse next week because some needs to have it.

What I did come home with: a vintage yukata (a summer cotton kimono) for the fabric. I think I will turn this into a top and maybe a couple of totes.

And a bright happi coat (a short jacket that is worn during festivals) because of fabric outside and lining. It will make a nice winter time coat.

Cora’s Garden: The Beloved Honohono

Mom’s honohono has bloomed. Just one spike this year.

The Honohono orchid is very beloved amongst the orchid growers in Hawaii. The sweet scent and cascading flowers something to look forward to in the spring. Here’s an article to give you more information about these orchids.

Cora’s orchids are having a very active blooming season this year. Though the orchids plants themselves need more care. Once the blooms are gone, will tend to them with some repotting the is very needed on several of them. We moved them in the patio so we can enjoy them together.

Mom’s also wanted to show off her oxalis that has a blooms.

Recipe Testing: Raspbery Orange Marmalade

Sliced and ready for an overnight soak

Raspberry orange? Is this blood oranges? I’m thinking as I hold up a bag at the grocery store. Two 3lb bags for $6 was a deal if it’s a blood orange. Guess Raspberry Orange is a more appetizing name then blood orange. I decide to buy a bag to give them a try with on some marmalade.

These were very juicy and sweet with slight bitterness that blood oranges usually have. They were beautifully dark reddish purple with a bit of orange at the tops. I googled Raspberry Orange. There isn’t a specific reference to a name change. Just a description about how blood oranges has raspberry-like flavor and scent.

Here’s a recipe for my Raspberry Orange Marmalade. It’s a loose recipe as I usually go by taste to adding a bit more sugar if it is too bitter.

Raspberry Orange Marmalade

3lbs Raspberry Oranges, sliced as thinly as possible into half moon shapes. If there are seeds, discard.
3 cups of white sugar with adjustment
water to cover

Place sliced oranges in to your jam pot, cover with water and soak overnight. This is to take some of the bitterness out. Next morning dump out the water the oranges were soaking in. Then add enough water to cover, bring water to boil, turn down heat to medium to medium high to simmer. Add sugar and stir till mixed in. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Marmalade needs to cook a long time to thicken up. As it thickens, I start tasting for bitterness and flavor. I’ve found adding a little more sugar helps with the bitterness. Add about 1/4 c of sugar at the time, till the taste is right. There should be some bitterness. it does mellow as it cools. If it is too sweet, I add lemon juice.

There may be foam or some missed seeds while cooking. Skim them out so your marmalade clear.

You will start noticing when stirring the marmalade that it is thickening up. The weight of marmalade will become heavier. It also start looking glossy and the rind start looking transparent. Your marmalade will never be as thick as store-bought one as they use a lot of pectin and preservatives.

Here’s a jam testing method. At the start of the marmalade cooking session, put a small plate in the freezer. When you feel like the marmalade (or jam) is done, place a dollop on the plate. The coldness of the plate sets it up that if you draw your spoon (or finger) through the dollop, it leaves a trail. I don’t use that method. I always for get to put the plate in the freezer. I watch for the stickiness on my spatula as I stir. As you marmalade (or jam) cools it does get thicker.

I do can my jams and marmalade. Here’s a link to how it’s done: https://www.freshpreserving.com/how-make-jam-and-jelly.html. You also can put it in jars and containers and store it in your refrigerators, should last about a month.

NOTES FROM THIS BATCH

On the first taste: not sweet enough, a bit too bitter, just kind of bland. I added 1/2 cup of sugar. Continued to cook. I got it to the point of when I could tell it was almost done. It was thicker, rind was transparent, it was kind of clumpy, and looked glossy. I did the last taste test for sweetness. It was good but I thought it needed brightness. I usually add lemon juice but only had calamansi (like sour orange). I added the juice of six calamansi and gave it a stir. You can use lemon or lime juice, about 1/4 cup. I gave Mom (she’s the official taster) a taste, and she thought it was good. This batch made 7 half pint jars. It took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to cook down and can.

Good luck with your marmalade. It is a long process to cook down liquid to sweet/bitter goodness but it is worth it. It’s great on toast with butter, good vanilla ice cream, and plain yougurt.