Monday, March 21, 2011

Tangelo Marmalade

My dad loves marmalade, and has a highly developed sweet tooth. When we lived in Canada, we had an ornamental orange tree that produced sour, ping-pong ball sized fruit twice a year. Sometimes we would collect the little oranges and freeze them until there was enough for a batch of marmalade. Sometimes we would make candied orange peels and enjoy them right away. If we had known about this recipe then, we could have made our own marmalade all year long with whatever citrus we found at the store! Thankfully I discovered it a few years back, and keep my Mom and Pops stocked in marmalade by giving it to them for Christmas, birthdays, and as a thank you gifts.   

If you like making home-made gifts, this marmalade is fantastic. It's has a lovely color, and tastes like sunshine in your mouth. A lot of it ends up on toast, but I like it best on a spoon.

I used tangelos and two or three lemons in my marmalade, but you can also use blood oranges, kumquats, or grapefruit. Limes have a very strong flavor, and might bring a strange color into your marmalade, but you could try those too. You can even make all-lemon marmalade, in which case a lime would not go amiss. When using grapefruit, use a peeler to remove the outer skin, leaving the white pith behind, chop the peel and add to your marmalade along with the naked grapefruit sections.

Tangelo Marmalade

3lbs tangelos or oranges
2-3 lemons
4 cups white sugar, or to taste
a pinch of salt

Wash and chill oranges in the fridge until ready. Slice oranges thinly and as consistently as possible, removing seeds as you find them. Toss the seeds in cheesecloth, and tie up in a bundle. Citrus seeds contain natural pectin, which will help your marmalade gel so don't throw them away! 
Transfer orange slices and seed bundle to a large stainless steel pot or dutch oven over medium/low heat, add sugar and pinch of salt, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade gels. (Put a plate in the freezer to chill it, and drop a spoon of marmalade on the center. In a couple of minutes, if you can turn the plate upside down and nothing moves, the marmalade has gelled. If not, keep cooking.) 
Be sure to watch your pot carefully when you think your marmalade is almost done - it can easily burn, possibly resulting in tears, a feeling of hopelessness, and deep anger. As you may have guessed, I speak from experience.
Continue to cook marmalade until citrus peels can be cut easily with a spoon. Over-cooking is better than under-cooking, which will result in early spoilage. 
When you are satisfied with your marmalade, pour it into clean glass jars and either can, or close tightly and refrigerate. It will keep a long time in the fridge - although we tend to go through it pretty quickly!
Enjoy your new marmalade!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Here's my dish for the web pot-luck.

I held out so long. But now I have a blog, and I'm ok with it.
In fact, I'm pretty excited. My reason for setting up this page are four-fold:

1. I like to cook and make things.
2. I like to take photos of my food and projects.
3. I like to talk about food and all the new things I want to do next.
4. It's cruel of me to pour all of my enthusiasm into my husband, Richard, and talk his ear off about cheese-making, bread-baking, or curing our own meat.  (But it's so cool! Don't you want to try it?)
Now I have a blog and, theoretically, infinite amounts of people to read it - so get ready for my enthusiasm, world! I've got a lot.  I'll be posting recipes for the most part, and other projects when I do them. Best case scenario: you all enjoy reading this, and my kitchen will be a little cleaner because I have to take pictures in there.Worst case scenario: my friend Christa, the sole reader, sends me emails correcting my bad grammar, and all of my recipes fail.

Let's see what happens, shall we?