God's Word for Today

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Orange Marmalade….it makes me think of my Grandma

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Back in June I posted about My Bucket List, you know all the things you want to do before you pass through the pearly gates. Well there are a lot of very wonderful places all around the worlds that are all worthy candidates. However living with limited resources one must be realistic. Dreaming about amazing places and even one day getting to check a few off my list are goals to aspire to. But it got me to thinking about the things that we can all do every day. Those things that are within or grasp. Improving our minds, growing closer to friends and family. Learning new things. I think for me one of the things that I have come to realize is that getting older is more about your state of mind. I know my body at times is very uncooperative as far as what I think I should be able to accomplish. However that does not mean that I need to yield to the process and just stop trying to learn new things.

One of my all time favorite simple pleasures is Orange Marmalade. It always reminds me of my grandmother. She always had it in her refrigerator. Enjoying a nice warm piece of toast with a bit of butter and a spoonful of marmalade along with a hot cup of coffee or tea, well in my book it just evokes a feeling of comfort that reminds me of sitting in my grandmas kitchen.

I came home for the grocery story a few days ago with a wonderful bag of bright sunshiny oranges. I thought to myself, they looked so beautiful and they smelled even better….and I was presently out of store bought orange marmalade so I thought maybe it was time to cross one of my more humble goals on my Bucket List.  As always I asked my favorite question in the Be Still Know household….How hard could it be?

Usually the first thing I do is consult my shelf of cookbooks then I hit the internet. I found a few recipes which I have link up to should you want to take a look at them. However more times than not I usually take piece parts from one recipe and then piece parts from another and make my own recipe.  Here is the first one I got off the Food Network website, Orange Marmalade Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2009 or you can go here to look at this one Orange Marmalade (with Liquid Pectin), I thought both recipes had merit however the last one instructed you to REMOVE peel from oranges and lemons. Scrape off 1/2 of white pith and discard. Thinly slice peel and place in baking soda and water in a 6-or-8-quart saucepan. Cook 20 minutes, covered. Remove membrane from fruit pulp. Chop fruit, reserving juice. Add fruit and juice to peel mixture.Simmer 10 minutes…..like I was going to do all that especially when the recipe from Alton Brown simply instructs you to thinly slice your oranges on a mandoline…I vote for one simple step not about a billion…….

In any event here is the recipe I used and if I do say so myself I thought it turned out very well. The only thing I think I will do differently next time would be to maybe use the thin setting on the mandoline. My orange slices were about 1/8 thick like Alton suggested and they were just fine but I think it might have a better texture to it if the slices were a bit thinner.

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Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 pounds oranges, 4 to 6 medium (I used 6 oranges)
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 1 lemon sliced very thin (remove seeds)
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 1 3-oz pouch Liquid Fruit Pectin
  • Special Equipment: 10 (8-ounce) canning jars with rings and lids, funnel, tongs, ladle, and 12-quart pot

Directions

Wash the oranges and lemons thoroughly.

Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices using a mandoline, removing the seeds as you go. (Cooks Note: I was at Wal-Mart the other day and I broke down and bought it (under $20.00). I am so glad that I did. I think it is my new favorite piece of kitchen equipment….loved it! Zip, zip, zip and I was done with the slicing in record time….IT WAS GREAT!)

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Stack the orange slices and cut them into quarters.

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Place the sliced oranges and lemon into an 8-quart pot.

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Add the lemon zest and juice and the water to the pot, set over high heat and bring to a boil, approximately 10 minutes.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.

Increase the heat under the orange mixture to return to full boil.

Add the sugar and stir the mixture continually, until it reaches 222 to 223 degrees F on a deep-fry or candy thermometer, and darkens in color, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

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When proper temp is reached add the liquid pectin and stir and bring back to a boil for 1 full minute.

You may need to adjust the heat in order to prevent boil over.

Allow marmalade to cool for a few minutes to allow any foam to settle, if there is a lot of foam you can gently spoon if off.

Pour hot marmalade into jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes.

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Remove jars from water bath and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before opening. (Cooks Note: My marmalade took almost two full days to set up. It was very loose the first afternoon but by the next morning it had begun to set. After two day it was completely set up. Some recipes I saw said it can take up to two weeks for it to fully set. )

Once open, store in the refrigerator.  

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Y’all it was really good!

On my How hard can it be scale I give this one a 6 maybe 7 for begin labor intensive with all the slicing and stirring, but one batch yielded 6 1/2 pint jars and 3 pint jars. My marmalade supply is fully stocked for a good long while. Will I be doing this one again…you bet. It was well worth the effort and my mind is already turning over the possibilities for variations on this one………

Well that is another one of my more modest items of that bucket list.

What new thing have you learned how to do lately?

Blessings

R

2 comments:

skoots1mom said...

Now THAT is some orange marmalade...beautiful! Isn't it wonderful being close to Grandma when you're doing it...she would be so happy getting to watch you and taste it, too. One day your girl is gonna be doing it with you too!
I've learned the 'crocodile' stitch in crochet and I love it...the 3-dimensional part is fun...think i'm going to make a scarf and put the new stitch in multiple rows at each end.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Wow. I feel like I've been tutored by Martha Stewart! What beautiful photos & reflections. Now I'm hungry :)

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