Thursday, March 15, 2012

...And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

Since we have all survived the Ides of March relatively unscathed, I propose we hunker down for the remainder of this rainy weather with our pots of tea and some scones, toast or muffins. While the succulent Minneola tangerine in the picture looks enticing & sunny, the reality is that there will be a bit more chilly weather for awhile. While the citrus remains in our markets, take advantage of a wet day by staying in & canning some jars of this sunshine to savor on the days when steaming pots of water & liquified sugar concoctions seem out of the question. If you'd like to try your hand at making some marmalade, here is a recipe that will work really nicely. If you'd like to spice things up a bit, try adding a cinnamon stick or some star anise. I like using Minneolas because they are easy to peel & have little or no seeds. This is also really a treat served with clotted cream or on pork chops or a ham...or a roast could also use some in a lively salad dressing.

Tangerine Marmalade

3 pounds tangerines
2 small lemons
1 1/2 c. water
4 1/2 c. sugar
1) Chop the tangerines, peel and all. I do this by hand, so as to remove the seeds. If you’re using a seedless variety, then by all means use the food processor. Repeat with the lemons.
2) Combine the tangerines, the lemons, and the water in a pot. Bring rapidly to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit 12 to 18 hours.
3) Add the sugar (or more, if you like a sweeter marmalade) and bring rapidly to a boil. Meanwhile, start heating up your boiling water bath in a separate pot. Stir constantly while bringing the mixture almost to the gelling point.
4) Transfer to clean, sterilized jars and screw on two-piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

This makes a really pretty & surprising gift for someone on your list! I think Teacher Appreciation Day is coming, Mother's Day is on the way, a hostess gift for an Easter brunch...think like the Girl Scouts & "Be Prepared"!

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