Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Jar on the Dining Room Table

   During the holidays, my family would leave the prairie- traveling south to visit grandparents from my father's side of the family. So different it was; no snow, now prairie winds, no farm chores to do. The rural south was quite a change from the white Christmas of my home.
   There was always a jar on my grandparents' dining room table; something I had never seen before. Sticky and sweet filled with chunks and slivers- marmalade was their morning treat. Now we never had marmalade on the prairie farm and I was fascinated by it.
   It has been years since the marmalade jar sat on their dining room table. This year my children and I decided to make some to recapture the memory of my 'southern holidays'.


for 3 pint jars you will need:
4 large oranges
3/4 cup water
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups sugar

 Wash oranges; peel outer zest from orange being careful not to get the white pith. Section the oranges and chop the segments roughly reserving juices.
Cut the zest into slivers; place in heavy bottom pan with the water, lemon juice and baking soda. Cook, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, simmer ten minutes. 
Add chopped orange segments, with juices, and cook twenty minutes. Pour mixture into a measuring cup..you need 3 cups. If you have too much, simply pour some off. If too little, add orange juice to make up the difference.
Return to the pan and add sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; boil 20 minutes, stirring consistently. Test the marmalade: drop a spoonful on a plate..it should be thick and not spread too quickly.
If the marmalade is not ready, continue cooking, checking every ten minutes.
Spoon into pint jars and can using water bath method ten minutes.

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