Orange Marmalade

Sunshine, my best friend, you’re back! Peggy Lee says it best:

Thanks to Kelly & our conversation at dinner the other night, I’m completely in a Peggy Lee mood today. She is so fantastic. Sassy, sultry, sardonic. Funny. Billie Holiday (whom I also adore), can sing the same song (like “My Man,” for instance), and it wrenches your guts with sadness. When Peggy Lee sings it, you feel like she’s the one getting the last laugh. And today, I’m in the mood for Peggy’s version of the story. Peggy Lee reminds me of LA a little bit, perhaps they share the same sensibility–that sort of midcentury ebullience. She could fit easily in a Raymond Chandler novel, sauntering in the detective’s office with a wild tale about a missing lover. How can I not miss LA on a sunny day like this with this soundtrack? Especially when thinking about orange marmalade, when so much of the city was once covered in orange groves?

I’m going out to enjoy the sunshine. And you should too. So maybe make the Orange Marmalade manana.

Orange Marmalade

6 oranges
2 1/2 c. water
1/8 tsp. baking soda
5 1/2 c. sugar
1 package of pectin

Wash your jars and their lids.

Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.

Bring a large pot, half-full with water, to a simmer. Add the clean jars, and pour the water from the tea kettle over them and turn off the heat. Let them sit in the hot water until you’re ready to use them (drain before using them).

Remove the colored part of the oranges with a vegetable peeler and chop finely. I used a food processor to get them pretty fine. Cut off the white part (this is bitter), and then chop the fruit itself into fine chunks, and reserve the fruit.

Place peels, water, and baking soda in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fruit and juice, simmer 10 minutes.

Add the pectin to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat. The pectin box describes this as a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when you stir it.

Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim off any foam.

Ladle quickly into the prepared jars, leaving about 1/8-inch space at the top. Wipe jar rims and cover with lids. Screw bands tightly and place bars back in the large pot full of water. Make sure the water covers jars by an inch or two. Cover and bring back to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove and place upright on a towel to cool. Once they’ve cooled, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Let stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

You can store the jam for about a year in the cupboard, or, once opened, about 3 weeks in the fridge.

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About Kate Soto

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