When you wake up on a Saturday morning and the outdoors look like this then you know it’s time to settle into house projects. It’s not that overcast days don’t make for good gardening days, sometimes they are the best, but we seem to be more into quiet indoor time this winter. Garlic and onions can wait for another weekend. Rainy day weekend mornings at our house are pretty slow and typically involve lots of coffee, newspaper reading, a fire, maybe some knitting, reading out-louds, and many block buildings.
While the boys and I went about our morning in the family room, Scott was busy in the kitchen making marmalade. I love marmalade. It’s my very favorite toast topper. While this is only the second time he’s made it, I have to say that this time was the best. It came out so delicious. And that is saying a lot because I’ve tried a lot of different brands out there. Homemade is obviously the winner. It’s easy too!
He peeled the zest off of about 5 or 6 oranges from our orange tree with a potato peeler and then cut them into thin strips. He cut off the rest of the pith and threw that away and cubed up the rest of the oranges, put them all into a pan with a healthy amount of sugar (varies depending on how sweet/bitter you like your marmalade). He added a cup of water and brought it to a boil.
The great thing about oranges is that, like cherry plums, they have natural pectin in them so it will thicken up by itself. After the orange/sugar/water mixture had come to a boil, he brought it down to a simmer and just let it bubble way. During this time, he noticed that the skin of the orange segments probably wouldn’t be very tasty if left in, so he pulled them all out with a spoon. In about 15 minutes, Scott put a few spoonfuls into a cup and refrigerated it to see if it had thickened up to a consistency we liked. Luckily it was, but if not he would have simmered it for longer. He tasted it to make sure it met his sweetness level (we like ours a little bitter) and then he canned three jars and left a little dish out for our morning and afternoon (and who am I kidding, late night, too) toast.
Not a half bad way to spend a rainy/overcast weekend. How was your weekend?
p.s. I left out some very important (to me at least!) gardening blogs on my list, so I’ve updated it. I’m sure I’ll think of more along the way too. Thank you so much for all of your comments and suggestions of other blogs!