Sunday, 3 February 2013

Food Waste Friday - Marmalade mayhem

One of the fun things about blogging is the backstage part of the blog; finding out where people have come from and what people googled in order to arrive at your blog. Generally on this blog, there is always somebody who has arrived following a search about mouldy (or moldy) carrots, or even just carrots. (And a first for this week; "how can you make a carrot stiff again?" (the mind boggles).) 

Recently I have failed to live up to my internet reputation. There hasn't been a mouldy carrot round here for some while (or even a floppy one). I'm not boasting though. This season it looks as if tomatoes may be the new carrot.



This half a tomato sat on the kitchen worktop for a couple of days and went mouldy right in front of my eyes. No excuses.

That was the only food waste.

Unless you count the eight jars of exceedingly runny marmalade.

Some might say it was foolhardy of me to even dare make marmalade, given my knack for producing runny formats of nearly everything, from yogurt to fudge. But last year I succeeded in producing a good batch of marmalade and this year I thought I'd give it a go again.

You don't make marmalade for the sake of making marmalade. You make it to experience the life lesson of learning to love repetition (shredding the peel goes on and on and on and on, and then on some more and more and more until finally, when you think you can shred no more, there's one lonely orange left), and for the multi-sensory experience; the zingy smell and the heartwarming colour. A little bit of summer sunshine in a winter kitchen.

Last year I read Nigel Slater's 2009 discourses on marmalade making, which I liked very much, but used a different recipe. This year I used his recipe.



I soaked all the peel overnight, like Nigel says.



I bagged up the pith and the pips, like Nigel says.



I boiled it vigorously, like Nigel says.

I did lots of 'saucer' tests with sloppy marmalade and finally gave up hoping for it to set, and jarred the whole lot anyway.



I'm not the only one with marmalade issues. Lili at Creative Savv had some too, and came up with a good trouble shoot.

So my marmalade won't become food waste. Armed with a bottle of Certo (pectin)



and some lemons (which Nigel certainly doesn't advocate), I'm aiming to rescue it, a jar at a time, until I too, have a batch of superior marmalade!


FoodWasteFriday
Food Waste Friday was dreamt up by thefrugalgirl.com, to encourage people to use up food instead of waste it. 




15 comments:

  1. Did you add the Certo on the first try? The only things I've gotten to set without it are things that have a lot of pectin in them like apples. However, I have never made marmalade.

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    1. No, I've never added Certo to anything, but I think I will in future. What a shame I can't add it to yogurt and fudge :-)

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  2. I did remake my batch, and while it is thicker than the first run, it is still thinner than store-bought (but doesn't soak through the toast, anymore, if I eat it fast enough) I think I had too much syrup in proportion to the fruit. And perhaps store-bought marmalade has a fair amount of pectin added, to begin with.

    It's delicious, and will have to be good enough.

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    1. Someone told me Seville oranges have more pectin that ordinary ones. I used half and half this year as opposed to 100% Seville last year. And I think mine started with too much water. Good enough is perfectly acceptable. I'm enjoying my runny stuff but getting through it more quickly than if it was thicker. I can't face doing the whole lot in one go, so I'm going to do a jar at a time.

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  3. The best recipe I have found is Hugh F W book on preserves, works every time,

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    1. Thanks for that Sandy! I'm quite a novice marmalade maker so all advice is welcome. Will give Hugh FW a try next time.

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  4. I have 8 or so jars of runny marmalade that I attempted to make this year... I haven't managed to get it to set yet, but found it makes a great citrus sauce to cook chicken in! I remove the chicken skin first and then put into a baking dish, pour a jar of marmalade/citrus sauce on it and bake.

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    1. That's an interesting idea. I love chicken cooked with lemon, so I'm sure it's delicious and might give it a try.

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  5. Hello :) Just wondered if you had seen this? http://www.turquoiselemons.com/2/post/2013/01/februarys-no-waste-food-challenge-preserves.html

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    1. Thanks Emma - I don't know that blog but it looks a goodie. Hope the rest of Saturday morning's session went well!

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  6. Hello - I made marmalade on Saturday and had the best set that I've ever had - but, after starting at 1.15pm and pouring it into jars at 9.40pm, it had more than enough attention. Should have left it to cool a bit longer though - the peel is all at the top. I'll just have to eat it with my eyes shut. x

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    1. I meant to put that in the blog post...marmalade making is definitely not something you do in a hurry!! Well done on getting your marmalade to set. I think I may have the other half of your peel...some of my jars have the peel all at the bottom!

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  7. I always seem to have the opposite problem - my jams and marmalades set too much to the point where they're hard to spread - maybe we should combine our batches! And I don't even use pectin. If you have a food processor it makes slicing the peel very quick and easy :)

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    1. Oh, I'd love a food processor - Santa wasn't listening! I don't use pectin either - my cookery teacher used to say it was 'cheating'. (Mind you, whe didn't have to lick up her arms last year when the marmalade ran off the toast!)

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    2. I've lost the accessories for my old food processor - it's falling apart and on its last legs, but Santa didn't listen to me either!

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