The Lovely Luscious Loquat (Jam)

I wish all of you could taste a freshly picked juicy loquat. It’s not a kumquat or even a distant relation… loquatsI posted a pic of our loquat tree on my Facebook page and was really surprised to learn how many have never tasted this juicy sweet fruit.

Thin velvety skin embraces yellowy orange flesh that tastes  like a cross between an apricot and a peach.

loquatseededIf you have a chance to try them, just remember, the seeds are extremely toxic! They contain many toxic alkaloids like cyanogen-glycosides.

Loquats grow all over my SoCal neighborhood — everyone seems to have at least one or two trees and they’re very prolific producers — but no one knows what to do with them, which is really too bad because they’re full of nutrition.

  • Low in calorie,, rich in insoluble dietary fiber; pectin.
  •  Excellent source of vitamins A and C, rich in potassium and some B-complex vitamins such as folates, vitamin B-6, and niacin.

Plus, loquat jam is delicious.

A couple days ago, I made a batch of loquat jam with this simple recipe:

Loquat Jam


Directions:

In a large pot, add…

Twelve cups seeded loquats.
Leave the skins on but cut off the blossom end.
Five to six cups of sugar.
I used white sugar, but I’m sure you could play around with the amounts and use agave nectar or honey.
Two tablespoons cinnamon. Loquats are slightly bland and really respond well to spices. Pour over enough water to cover the fruit.
Cover with a lid, quickly bring to a boil, and allow to boil for five minutes.
Turn down the flame to simmer, uncover, and cook for a couple of hours, stirring with a wooden spoon so it doesn’t burn.
After a couple hours or so, take an immersion blender pureed the fruit (the skins disappear), and continued to cook for another hour.
After tasting it, I added a bit more cinnamon and three tablespoons of lemon juice which really helped the flavors develop.
I wanted to turn it more apple butter-like and thick, so I carefully poured it into a crockpot and let it cook on low all night.
In the morning, wash canning jars and lids with hot soapy water, rinse with hot water. Fill jars with hot jam and put the lids on, but don’t tighten too much. As the jam cools, you’ll hear popping sounds which means the lids are sealing. When the jars are cool to touch, tighten the lids a bit more and refrigerate.

Loquats in bowl

Just started the cooking process. It was a real surprise to watch the cooked loquats turn a deep rich burgundy.

Cooking loquats

Use an immersion blender to puree.

Time to sleep in the crockpot all night and get nice and thick.

Crockpot loquat

I’m really happy with the results. It looks a lot like apple butter.

Loquat in bowl

Jars and jars of jam! I’m refrigerating them; didn’t feel like going through the hot bath canning process.

Jars of loquat jamMore ways to preserve the bountiful abundance of loquats:

  • I’m freezing some fruit whole to use in smoothies.
  • Drying the leaves to make loquat tea.
  • Loquat salsa, like mango salsa.
  • Loquat cobbler. YUM.
  • Chutney

KRISTALLNACHT

Jews arrested during Kristallnacht line up for...

Jews arrested during Kristallnacht line up for roll call at Buchenwald, 1938 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: On November 9–10, 1938, the Nazis staged vicious pogroms—state sanctioned, anti-Jewish riots—against the Jewish community of Germany. These came to be known as Kristallnacht (now commonly translated as “Night of Broken Glass”), a reference to the untold numbers of broken windows of synagogues, Jewish-owned stores, community centers, and homes plundered and destroyed during the pogroms. Encouraged by the Nazi regime, the rioters burned or destroyed 267 synagogues, vandalized or looted 7,500 Jewish businesses, and killed at least 91 Jewish people. They also damaged many Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes as police and fire brigades stood aside. Kristallnacht was a turning point in history. The pogroms marked an intensification of Nazi anti-Jewish policy that would culminate in the Holocaust—the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews.

My brother sent me an email today and I got his permission to reprint it as a post. It’s brief but powerful and reminded me that we must always be vigilant against hatred.

This week my wife and I went to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. We had an intense and unsettling experience.  The memorial is in a hilly wooded park near downtown. We started off in a European town square setting, a cozy stone bench. Everything was covered in leaves from the trees around it. We noticed a doll (sculpture) had been left behind on the bench. As we walked down the cobblestone path other items had been left. The cobblestones gradually turned into railroad ties. The path ends at a large curved stone structure with the story of the Holocaust. It has powerful quotes from some of Oregon‘s Holocaust survivors. The structure rests on a huge boulder that covers dirt from each of the death camps. On the back of the structure are names of some Jews who died in the Holocaust and their Oregon relatives. The names are engraved on shiny black stone. As I walked along reading the names I could see my own image reflected in the stone. We’ve been wanting to visit this memorial for years, but kept putting it off. For me, part of being a Jew is finding the courage to walk around while carrying a heavy load of vulnerability and grief inside.  State sponsored anti-Semitism “could” happen here. It probably won’t. But if it does, I won’t go passively to the camps. We all have developed ways of coping that work for us.

Laughing and crying
You know it’s the same release
Joni Mitchell

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas