Fifth World Art by Robert Neff
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When I returned home to support my widowed mother's fight with breast cancer in 2002, I reevaluated my life's journey and direction. Read more...

7 Views of Downtown St. Petersburg


Experience the seven views from walkabout photographer, Robert Neff as they offer unique views of St. Petersburg, Florida. The postcard set or prints make a wonderful gift for the home or office. Read more...

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Kumpquat Pie Adventrue

by Robert Neff

During my neighborhood walkabout, I asked what these small orange-ish things were on the tree. I wondered if they were an orange variation that I didn't know about?"

The home owner said, "Kumquats and you eat the whole fruit."

Then I asked, "What do you make with them?"

He replied, "Kumquat Pie, jam, jelly, marmalade, salsa and marinade. Actually, people get inventive."

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Photos: iphone

Sideview of Kumquat Pie

Kumquat Pie.

He went on to say that you eat the skin which is tart, while the inside is somewhat bitter. Last year, my sister-in-law made a pie and it was delicious. You can buy the kumquats and she will make one for you. She loves to have a reason to bake!"

So I now had an adventure - find kumquats! I went home to conduct online research.

This is Florida, so there has to be a festival, right? Well there is, but I missed the Kumquat Festival by a week. It was on January 29th in Dade City. This is only an hour north of St Petersburg. I also found stumbled across another web site from the Kumquat Growers Association where you can place orders for the fruit and jellies.

Pints of Kumquats

I called his sister-in-law, Terrie or as her family refers to her, Aunt Peaches. She said there is a local produce market around the corner. You need about two pints of kumquats for the recipe are they are $1.69 a pint. That sounded better than a friend's quote who had seen them at Fresh Market for $3.99 a pint.

Aunt Peaches emphatically said, "Pick them up and I will make your pie."

So, I begrudgingly made the drive up to Clearwater. You have to understand that I live in South St. Petersburg between the last exit for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the IntraCoastal Waterway. I usually pretend to be busy when someone asks me to head up to North Pineallas County, because the snow birds are here and that area becomes very congested. Actually, that area was laid out on a grid and shortcuts are rare. Worse, too mant traffic lights are so long that I can play a hand a hand of Euchre!

On a lighter note, Clearwater does have a Rita's Italian Ice, so I feign reluctance to head up there!

When I arrived with the Kumquats, she had me wash them. Then she explained how to eat them. You can either eat the whole thing, take a bite or slice it. She said that some people don't like the seeds inside as they can be bitter. Me? I prefer the tart sweet skin but think the bitter inside provides a cool mesh of tastes!

Aunt Peaches made the Kumquat Pie and and it was a big hit. The pie has a great presentation. The textures and tastes mixed real well.

I shared the pics of the pie with my twitter followers and they were asking for the recipe! When I asked her for the recipe, she confessed the recipe was from the Festival's Web site.

Now, everywhere I look in St Petersburg, I am seeing kumquat trees full of fruit. You cannot miss these because the tree is speckled with small orange dots. Some of the trees in my neighborhood are close to the road and with each pass, it is obvious that I have walked by there!


Kumquat Pie Recipe

Pints of fresh Kumquats.
Overhead view of Kumquat Pie
Lookin down
at Kumquat Pie.


Slices of Kumquat Pie
Slices of Kumquat Pie.

Terrie "Aunt Peaches" Cafazzo: She has just published an e-book on cooking easy meals called "Easy Dinners Step by Step" by Terrie [Kindle Edition]. Later this year, she will be publishing her family's recipes and her late Italian mother-in-law's recipes.

About the Author. Robert Neff is a former Internet executive who is now a writer, photographer and contemporary artist. He just recently had a well reviewed art show in St Petersburg that showcased his photography, poetry and two new powerful collection of contemporary art. He is expecting to publish two books, "#justsaying" and "Words Layered On Images." The latter is a collection of his poetry set against his photography. Check for updates on his web site, Fifth World Art. You can follow Robert Neff on Twitter at @5wa and Facebook at Fifth World Art.

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