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Year of the Horse Inn
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Nicole's Pumpkin Marmalade
Empty pumpkin of seeds, cut into strips, then cut meat away from the peel. Cut the meat into small cubes. Peel lemon, oranges and grapefruit with a zester (a carrot-peeler) and slice fine so you have thin strips of peel. Remove seeds from citrus, then dice the meat of the citrus fruit. Mix pumpkin cubes, citrus, and zest with sugar and let stand at room temperature overnight in any non-metal bowl.
Transfer to large saucepan(s) and cook over low/medium heat for an hour and a half or until fruit becomes transparent.
Decant hot marmalade into hot, sterilized jars and cover immediately. Store in cool, dark place.
NOTE: Nicole is one of my cousins in Québec, Canada -- which is where my father was born and where our family played a historic role. Shortly after Halloween 1999, I and another Virginia-based cousin took a week off and drove up to Quebec for a visit. While there as Nicole's guests, we were introduced to her special marmalade. Well, more than introduced; we made it. OK, more accurately, we helped with day one of making it - the grunt work.
We assembled along the kitchen counter in an assembly (in this case, disassembly) line worthy of Detroit. At the head of the line, my task was simply to cut the pumpkin up into manageable strips so the next cousin in line could cut the peel away from the meat. Cutting into smaller chunks and then dicing it into yet smaller pieces was done by still other cousins. At the end of the production line were bowls of finely cut pumpkin and citrus, ready for cooking.
Here at the Inn we've served a few jars produced that day in Québec, to unsolicited rave reviews. We have since made our own and have every intention of doing so again. Try it yourself. Caution: it's a two-day project. Here's the recipe, courtesy of my cousin, Nicole.
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