Yesterday was not the list checking off day I had hoped, but I did get one very important thing accomplished. I made the blood orange marmalade. I usually make regular old orange marmalade for myself, but our friend who hosts us for football on Sundays is a big fan of the blood oranges. I decided to make a batch for her to have. It was odd getting back to solitary canning, seeing as Annie and I make such a great team, but I wanted to get this done today. It was an all day project as the recipe I followed took all the pith out of the oranges. The cooking process was long and multistage, but I think that the results were beautiful.
First, I scored the peels and removed them from the oranges. The peels were then cooked twice for 10 minutes in boiling water to loosen the piths. I then dug the pith out with a spoon. I think that this significantly cut the bitter taste that our friend likes, so this may be skipped next year for her to have the bitter overtone she likes. This also softened up the peels quite a bit, something I have not really been all that successful with in my other recipe.
Then I was on to sectioning out all the fruit and removing strings and seeds. This went really fast, and I did not stain my hands too much.
Next it was onto cutting the peels into little strips. I lost patience half way through, and the small pieces became a bit larger. Hunger was setting in as it was now decidedly after lunch time, and I was still jamming.
After a super quick lunch, it was time to cook it all. I ended up doing a two pot method that I think I will avoid next time. It did not seem to yield a "better result" than usual for all the work it involved. I filled the jars and then realized after only emptying one pot that there was too much jelly for the two small half pints left. I had a whole other pot to put into jars! I ran to the pantry and cleaned two more jars and sterilized them up and added the jam to those. Everything went into the canner, and then I got a look at the time.... I needed to head out for a dance session. I quickly got ready and then waited on the boiling jelly to finish. Once it was done processing, I removed the jars and luckily enough they all instantly sealed. I ran out and made it in time for the train. It was a close call though!
As usual, the book I have sorely underestimated the final amount you would end with by four half pints. I think with the end tally, there is enough for the two of us, so I will skip my usual orange marmalade making this year and just take some of the extras from this batch for the year. Who knows, I may be a convert to the blood oranges.
That was the only item I got to check off of the list yesterday, so I transferred all the rest of the chores over to today's list. Chiefly, I need to make up those curtains for 826. I am eyeing the front hallway to lay out the fabric, and I really hope it fits as there is no real good place in the apartment to lay out that much fabric. Well here is to trying!