Hot Mess

10 Apr

Ever had one of those days- when everything starts out “Zippie-di-do-daa” and end up humming Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”? Uck- that was my day.  Such a lovely start- and then I had to mess it up by trying to make marmalade.  One hot, sticky mess.  Well, I think it’s important to note the successes along with the trip-ups. Here’s the lineup:

Orange Lime Marmalade:

  • 3 lbs Valencia Oranges
  • 3 persian limes
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 cups of sugar (1 cup for each cup of pulp)

The prep was tedious, but I actually enjoyed it. Peel the fruit and pulp the fruit into a container, making sure to remove the membrane and the seeds. Then scrape the pith off the peels and thinly slice (imagine spreading on toast.)

Mix in the peel (about 4 cups), the water and the pulp in a pot and boil for 5 minutes. Then cool and refrigerate overnight. Easy enough, but I was not mentally prepared for the second step.

The next day, mix 1 cup of sugar for each cup of pulp and boil until gelling.  OK- sounds easy right? See if you can tell what happened from my series of pictures:

Can you see the 2 pots in the sink? Apparently, sugar expands to 100 times it initial volume when boiling.  OK- not really, but it felt like that. The first pot (8 qt) boiled over and made a mess on my right burner. Imagine the lovely smell of burnt marshmallows at the camp fire- but coming from your stove burner. Yikes! I quickly transfer to my biggest pot- the 12 qt roaster.  And it STILL boiled over.

I hate messes- but I really hate sticky messes.  Even after cleaning up after myself, I still feel like I’ve taken a bath in cotton candy on a hot day with 100 percent humidity. Blagh!

So here are the results:5 half-pint jars. I got the mixture up to almost 230 degrees and it still didn’t “gel”. I’ll let it sit overnight and let you know if the result is edible.

Needless to say, it will be a while before I try marmalade again. I can use a break, if only to build my reserve of patience up- this foray depleted me of my emergency reserve.

Thanks for stopping by!

April 12 update:

Not edible. Candy. Ugh.  I couldn’t get it out of the jars, and I didn’t want to spend all the time warming up the water bath to soften the marmalade taffy inside the jars. So I just threw them away. Bummer.

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One Response to “Hot Mess”

  1. Gail Bechtel April 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Oh my, sorry for the mess. I will hope that after it sets up overnight it will be delicious.

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