Yes, wow ! Nice one, Stuart.
This is kind of a story of Tuesday's breakfast, and kind of a story of making a breakfast staple, and kind of a story of kitchen improvisation. I really couldn't think where to post it, but finally, breakfast it is.
We had a plan for the Golden Week holiday, leaving early Saturday morning, and I've had this season's natsumikan marmalade on my mind. I got access to a tree with a much later crop than the one I usually use (mid-March harvest) but had missed this year because of the timing. On Friday I was full of beans and resolved to have a go at taking the necessary stuff with me and making the marmalade on the run, despite having to carry all my luggage by train and on foot.
I took this partial photo of marmalade-kit packing after the event: natsumikan, empty jars and single-burner gas stove and canister not shown. I wrapped up my knives in a couple of pieces of leather I've had lying around for years, since the time I was experimenting with leatherworking. I think the old brown shoelaces add a touch of class (short knives shown pulled out for clarity):
We left Tokyo by train to sail my friend's boat from the Pacific coast of Chiba round to the Shonan coast in Sagami Bay. Cruising's fun, of course, but leaves ample opportunity for free time, depending on the weather conditions. With a stock of plastic bags, I was able to break down the fruit into peel, shredded peel & (everything else), little by little as time allowed. My usual approach in the kitchen is to juice the fruit, then separate into peel and (everything else). On the move, it seemed to make sense just to separate the peel, keep segments and pith together and juice by hand later just by squeezing the segments in my fist. In the end you're suspending the pith, seeds & pulp in a net in the (juice and water) in the pot, before finally removing the net and squeezing out the liquid from that - so the juice will work either way.
I started cutting, paring and shredding at our first port of call, near Tateyama:
Made progress on the second day on the water:
... and finished preparing the fruit on deck in the marina at the second port of call. Eyeballing the volume of water, I boiled the peel and bags of fruit discard till the peel was soft (actually I think having kept the peel and shredded peel in plastic bags as I prepped it meant the peel was more easily and more quickly softened, though I think having very ripe fruit helped, too (shook the tree rather than picking individual fruit)).
I'd worked out my sugar proportions on paper and given away enough pieces of natsumikan to bring the total weight to a good match for the 1kg of sugar I picked up before we sailed (no weight or volume measures on board; I weighed the fruit before leaving home). I boiled to 105C and poured straight from the pot into the washed jars, using the funnel I'd brought (in fact bought, a few years back) for the purpose.
Yes, we can:
Finally, breakfast on Tuesday, our third day on board:
The skipper was making an expert job of showing how to cater for four people on a 25' boat, using only a single burner (the ship had its own; I'd brought mine unexpectedly). This breakfast was eggs poached two at a time, free-form, in a square tamagoyaki pan, and served over delicious brown bread (our first day's pilot owns a bakery company !) with processed cheeses slices and Japanese-style pre-cooked bacon; and vegetables steamed in their own juice and mixed with a tin of anchovies. This was also a demonstration of a piece of Le Creuset used in a proper application for its true properties - getting it hot over the gas ring, then leaving the veggies to steam and stay warm while the eggs were cooked. Of course the not-completely full jar of marmalade came out for the remaining bread, and the three full jars made a nice present for each hand.
Edited by Blether, 06 May 2010 - 07:35 PM.