Sunday, January 21, 2007

Making marmalade

In my husband’s worldview, there are some foods you eat only at breakfast and there are some foods you never eat at breakfast. Marmalade is a breakfast requirement; strawberry jam, however, should never be eaten in the morning. Aren’t cross-cultural marriages fun?

Since my husband’s breakfast routine is unwavering, we go through a lot of marmalade. And, since I don’t want him to consume high-fructose corn syrup, that industrial super-sweetener that seems to be in every processed food item in America, either I buy the brands that contain real sugar (usually imported and usually costing between $4-9!) or I make my own.

Why make my own? It’s cost-effective. I reuse packaging (glass jars) rather than consuming more. It tastes pretty good. And it’s easy.

I make it when I find organic citrus in the grocery store. I insist on organic because I learned from Sally Fallon that most commercial citrus is treated with neurotoxic cholinesterase inhibitors (to prevent spoilage), which I don’t want anyone I love to eat.

The recipe I use is from the Joy of Cooking. It involves 24 hours of soaking and about 30 minutes of cooking. This morning I multi-tasked, dusting and washing floors with trips to the stove every five minutes to give the marmalade a stir.

Et voila!


Mom said...

Many people do not know how to preserve preserves. Did you recycle a jam jar with a rubber ringed lid, use parrafin, or just put in the refrigerator for near future use?

Elizabeth said...

None of the above, actually!

I use the lids and jars from store-bought condiments. I guess most of these have rubber in along the inside threads.

When I put hot marmalade into hot jars (which I've sterilized on the stove-top by filling them three-quarters full of water, placing them in a frying pan of water with lids lightly balanced on top of each jar and boiling them for 30 minutes) and screw the lids back on, the store-bought lids reseal. We can hear them doing it, and when we open a new jar (which has been stored in the cupboard just likes tore-bought jam), there is that "pop" indicating unsealing. That, along with the high sugar contant of the marmalade itself, seems to do the trick. I've making it for about 1 1/2 years now, and we've had no problem with mold, fermentation, leaks or spoilage.

Elizabeth said...

Oops. Pushed "publishe" before proofing. Sorry for the typos in above comment!