Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Marmalade

I felt adventurous today and made preserves. Marmalade to be exact. I was watching Good Eats a couple nights ago, and he was showing how to make Orange Marmalade, and mentioned that the best Marmalade oranges, Sevilles, were only available for a short time in January. So of course I thought 'hey, it's January now!', and ran right out and bought some. Boy, talk about your bitter oranges - yikes!  Those things are nasty!


I had a little help in the kitchen...

So I cut them up, cooked them up, got all the canning stuff ready - I went over and helped a friend can tomatoes this summer to learn how, so I was eager for something to can - and then I had a little problem. The recipe said to cook the Marmalade to 222 degrees after adding the sugar. That turned into a horrible mess! The thick, sugary mix was popping and throwing hot lava everywhere, and it hung at 219 for the longest time before it finally reached the goal - and by then it had scorched on the bottom and gotten quite dark - not bright and orange like marmalade should be.

I went ahead and canned it anyway. I wanted the experience of using the hot water bath canning method. It all seems to have sealed well. I figured if it's terrible I've only wasted a few lids. What I tasted of it before I canned it tasted very bitter and scorched.

When I got done, I had a big pot of boiling water on the stove, and since I bought a whole chicken to bake for dinner, I cut it up and threw the less attractive bits into the pot, along with some carrots, celery, onion, herbs and tah-dah...

Mmm, homemade chicken stock - so the day isn't a complete loss!

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