Su-Mei Yu heard I wasn’t feeling well, so she rushed me a jar of her kumquat preserves. Her directions were simple — make a tea by pouring hot water over a couple tablespoons of the preserves… drink the tea and eat the fruit. I’m not really a fan of kumquats, but I trust Su-Mei. By the way, if you live anywhere near San Diego, I hope you’ve already visited her amazing restaurant Saffron. Thai noodles don’t get any better. Back to Su-Mei. We first met back around 1999 when we worked together on a book called Cracking the Coconut. I guess it’s something of a classic now, and sadly it’s not easy to find, but if you’re interested in learning Thai cuisine, this is the book you need.
I’m working with Su-Mei on another book now, The Elements of Life, but it’s not due out until the Fall so you have to be patient. So what about the tea? It’s strong stuff. It calmed my chest within moments. Su-Mei said to keep drinking it throughout the day, and I’m only on my first cup, but this stuff really works. The only thing I can compare it to is making tea from fresh ginger, which is also very therapeutic and healing. But the kumquat preserves are doing something else. I feel soothed. And if you like kumquats, then all the better. I wonder if Su-Mei will give us the recipe?