At Chico's rain-washed farmer's market on Saturday, I was on a mission: I would find strawberries. Despite the problematic weather, there would have to be some, right? I've been very patient, but it is mid-April, after all.
And there it was- that flash of red in a sea of leeks, mandarins, and artisanal breads. A single table, mobbed by cooing market-goers chattering excitedly. "I'm going to use them in a pie!" I heard one woman report to another. "Just in time for Easter" her friend purred back. Navigating the crowd, I sidled up to the baskets, stuck my nose in, and inhaled deeply. Nothing. Drat! How much longer, Lord?!
Meanwhile, I had spotted some brave lil' kumquats, pushing their season. I popped one in my mouth and it was...lovely. Since they're going away for a long, long time, I bought a pound.
See ya later, strawberries. Better luck next time.
1/2 lb kumquats, washed, sliced into thin pinwheels, seeds popped out with knife tip
2 c sugar
1 c water
Bring sugar and water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the kumquats and simmer for a minute or two, stirring, until the kumquats are translucent. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerated and stored in their syrup, they'll keep for several weeks.
Fold into softened vanilla ice cream, or top some coconut sorbet with a few pinwheel and some syrup. The kumquat syrup is also great for making cocktails or for sweetening a glass of lemonade.