Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Adventures in Marmalade

-and it begins.

I have the peels and fruit all chopped ,and soaking for the final cooking/canning tomorrow. I'm feeling adventurous, which means there will be several batches over the next few days employing different sweeteners and techniques. I'm partial to a bit of brown sugar in my marmalade, but my family is less certain. I also have a tendency to over-set marmalade, so for the first time in my life, I'm going to use a jam thermometer-I'm getting too old for breaking teeth on hard peel.

I wanted to include a splash of Campari in my recipe, but was stunned at what a bottle costs these days. I don't think I could justify a thirty dollar bottle of booze for the purpose of making something I intend to spread on toast. Of course, I do have a birthday coming up...

I have some helpful advice if you decide to make lime marmalade-resist the temptation to add a few drops of food colouring. Believe me, the pale green will be much nicer than what food colouring gets you as evidenced by the several jars I still have from 2008 that no one will touch because it looks unnatural.

Have I mentioned before how positively obsessive I am about citrus? Sure, now you can have oranges and grapefruit the year round, but as a child, in the cold, cold northern climes of the upper Midwest where winter never really ends it just goes on a hiatus around June...oh god those oranges would arrive in the stores around Christmas, and I'd eat and eat and eat until I had mouth sores and stomach pain until the last ugly-skinned juice oranges from Florida disappeared from the stores leaving us with nothing but cold storage apples to hold us over until the first early, flavourless stone fruits of spring. Yeah, you damn coddled youngsters don't know how good you have it with your Chilean grapes and South African Oranges. Sometimes, not often of course (and no one really likes to talk about it) we'd resort to cannibalism and blame it on Windigoes. You know how sometimes you're out, and you see a pair of footprints in the snow...and they just end? Yeah, that was the Windigoes. Damn Windigoes, always eating people and trying to blame it on the locals. So what I was about to say...(before this post veered off into crazycakes-bad punctuation-land) is that you really don't know what it was like to wait, and wait, and wait all year for fresh oranges. You damn kids with your, "Oh I don't need to eat an orange, there's an app for that", lives.

Go eat some oranges...and then get off my lawn.

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