Marsha Canham's Blog

January 29, 2013

Kumquats, Fascinators, and Kitchen Guy

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 6:44 pm

I’m sure some of you are curious/dying to know how the renovations are coming along. As it happens, so am I. *snort*  Other than the occasional email, instigated by me with a subtle WHAT’S GOING ON UP THERE? I haven’t had a whole lot of feedback. I know the upstairs bathroom has been gutted, new drywall is up, the seams taped and mudded. I can only hope Kitchen Guy (who is now wearing two hats as Bathroom Guy as well…so maybe I should just call him Reno Guy) was properly schooled by his mom to close all extraneous doors in order to confine the dust and debris to the one room. What are the odds?

I knew the bathroom was done before Reno Guy sent a picture because the daughter in law went in to water the plants and happened to notice a piece of paper lying face down on the kitchen counter. She turned it over and saw a note in big block letters saying Do Not Turn on the Water!!!!!  Apparently Reno Guy had taken the bathroom apart and had not yet capped off the water pipes up there. The way things have been going so far, a fountainous spray from two outlets on the upper floor would have fit right in with the rest of the happenings. One must be thankful for small mercies…and for a curious DIL. The tile for the floor has been ordered, however, after which the clawfoot tub will be shlepped upstairs and will no longer serve as a conversation piece in the family room.

Other than that it has, apparently, been “too @#%#$ cold” outside to do any cutting, so the kitchen remains as I left it, without any crown mouldings over the cabinets or facings on the fireplace.

Probably a good thing I’m NOT there or veins would have popped long ago.

But I’m not there and I’m here enjoying sunny Florida weather. I can certainly spare sympathy for those mired under the white stuff and freezing off their nose hairs. Seriously, I can. And almost without smiling. All of us ladies in the Hand and Foot Cult Club exchange sympathetic murmurings every evening that we get together to play some cards and toast the warm Florida sunshine.

As you may know, if you have followed other blogs during other winter months, the six of us gather once or twice, sometimes thrice a week to play a rousing game of Hand and Foot. It’s very much like Canasta and there are a bazillion different rules and methods of playing, and long ago we decided to cull the best of the rules that applied to our style of laughing much, being serious less. Adding to the levity, we have occasionally show up with new pieces of bling to add to the ambiance. First up was lovely expandable rings with genuine rhinestone chips surrounding majorly huge coloured stones. Then came headbands glittering with jewelled flowers. Then came two bracelets apiece, equally charming in their gaudiness. We also have sunglasses shaped like martini glasses. And  key chain fobs that say LAUGH in fashionable lime green.

This year started out with sparkly little bows on bobby pins and…when the last member of the troupe finally arrived…fascinators!   Yes. Fascinators!  The aforementioned tardy member and I were shopping in the quaint little village of Port Perry during the summer and decided that we all needed little feathered fascinators. Past history of shopping excursions with Ms Brockman have usually come up with unusual, quirky, and often downright pee-your-pants astoundingly grand ideas, but this one was well worth the wait for her to vacate the snowy Tundra and join us in the sunny south.

The response from the other ladies was picture perfect. Three of us were in on the nefarious plan, but all of us laughed so much we almost didn’t get to play cards. All we need now are the white lace gloves!!  LOL


We don’t just play cards, which brings me to the kumquat part of the blog. We had decided we should so some daytime excursions and first up on the list was the Kumquat Festival in Dade City. An annual event for some, (Some? Hah. There had to be a few hundred thousand crowding the streets!!!!!) but while we six sort of knew what kumquats were, none of us had really done anything with them. One of us had made a kumquat pie before, and I had dabbled with kumquat marmalade last year, but we thought we could expand our knowledge base by seeing what else could be done with the little peckers.

So we set off on our Griswald Adventure at 8am sharp, and good thing we did. Despite the grumbling from SOME over the early hour, we managed to scarf almost the last available parking spot within a quarter mile of the festivities. Others who were not so canny as to leave early had to park miles away, literally, and wait for big pink shuttle buses to shlepp them to the festivities.


And what did we discover on our knowledge-seeking quest? We discovered kumquat salad dressing and kumquat barbque sauce. Kumquat marmalades and jellies. Kumquat marinades, kumquat soda, kumquat salsa, kumquat chutney, kumquat fudge, kumquat ice cream, kumquat pies, and…ta da! Kumquat wine!  As we prowled the crowded streets, we planned the kumquat pot luck dinner that was to take place the next day. Everything had to be made with or contain kumquats, and it was a smashing success. We had kumquat appetizers, kumquat salad, kumquat meat balls, kumquat chicken, kumquat quinoa, all quaffed with several bottles of kumquat wine, and finished off with kumquat pie! Seriously good victuals from a seriously innocuous-looking little citrus bulb. And because the pie was so scrumptious, I’ll share the recipe here. Try it. You won’t be sorry.

1 graham cracker pie crust

8 oz  Cool Whip

2/3 cup kumquat puree (about a pint of kumquats seeded and whizzed up smooth, peel and all)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup lemon juice

Beat condensed milk and cool whip, add lemon juice and beat until thickened. Add kumquat puree, pour into pie shell and chill for several hours.




  1. Hi Marsha,
    We grow an abundance of kumquats here in Southern California, but I don’t know of a city with a festival. I eat
    them whole, and have had millions in my lifetime. Many kids use the little fruit like snowballs for backyard wars.
    The pie sounds delicious and I’ll try it next time a bag of kumquats comes my way.

    Comment by Phoebe Conn — January 29, 2013 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  2. Looking good Marsha… and sounds like lots of fun

    Comment by Barb — January 29, 2013 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  3. Another fun blog, Marsha! Yes, I wanted to know about the renovations but, frankly, was afraid to ask. LOL Love the group photos and the adventures you all take on. What fun you have. And the fascinators…goes without saying you all looked beautiful.

    Comment by JILLMETCALFJ — January 29, 2013 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  4. How could I be so far behind fashion wise? I must find a fascinator, though finding one in the high desert may be a challenge. I must schedule a field trip!

    Comment by Southern Belle — January 30, 2013 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

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