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A Marmalade Adventure with Saralyn: Bourbon Kumquat Marmalade

A Marmalade Adventure with Saralyn: Bourbon Kumquat Marmalade

When my grandmother brought kumquats over to my house from her backyard, I honestly wasn’t familiar with them. I assumed I would need to peel them and eat them like little itty bitty oranges.


Of course, she corrected me and let me know to just eat them as they are- and that the skin was the sweetest part. She also let me know that they generally don’t grow in Georgia. So, where do they grow? And how did I end up turning these little fruits into an adventure with a friend?


As you might have guessed, these little fruits are a part of the citrus family. My grandmother, I call her Minge (quick sidebar: that’s because she used to always introduce me to her mother “this is your Great Grandmother Inge” so little 2-year-old me merged the two and called my grandmother “Minge” as a result), brought hers to Macon from a cutting in her home of Mobile, Alabama. That’s how they ended up here.


So when she presented our family with her offerings, and I was the only one to take her up on them, I asked how much more she had? Would she be up for letting me sell them to a restaurant friend? Of course, she was. And I found myself with maybe 5 pounds of the fruit.


If you’re a Macon person then you might have known, even aside from the article headline, that of COURSE my first call would be to Saralyn Collins of Grow Restaurant. This lady can make anything, and was the perfect person to approach with this.


And that is how I found myself on a marmalade adventure with Saralyn. She invited me, and her friend Lesley, to her home- also luckily around the corner from me.


She let us know it took her a good couple of hours to cut up what she had- like I said before, the skins are the sweetest part. So she cut out the seeds and the unusable parts, and let the mixture sit overnight in water and sugar.



Once we got there, she had amazing vegetable soup for lunch for us, and we would proceed with cooking the mixture. Up to 220 degrees, until it became sticky on the bottom of the pot.



Now, I won’t go into details of exactly how much sugar she put in and whatnot- namely because I didn’t ask. But we did add a little bourbon to the mix. Oh, and there had been cayenne pepper added the evening before as well.


Y’all. The end results were just lovely. Just sweet and savory enough without being overbearing, and super cool knowing the fruit came from my grandmother’s garden.



And the best part? Y’all can have your chance to try it as well! Saralyn has posted the menu for Grow Restaurant! And this sounds super awesome:



I, for one, am going to try my hand at making Rosemary Biscuits today to have with the marmalade. It was Saralyn’s idea that rosemary would be a great compliment, and I happen to have some in my own yard. **I did it after drafting this post AND IT WAS AWESOME!






Love to all y’all,



Molly McWilliams Wilkins

Molly McWilliams Wilkins

Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a Southern culture commentator, web producer, and social media marketing maven. She is also a freelance writer who has worked with a variety of publications and online magazines including Bourbon & Boots, Paste Magazine, Macon Magazine, the 11th Hour, Macon Food & Culture Magazine, and as the Digital Content Editor for The Southern Weekend. Mommy first, fashionista, social media maven, writer, artist, dreamer and poet. Hangs on to her Oxford Commas by force. Addicted to shoes and purses- and lots of coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.

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