Monday, January 9, 2017

I made Marmalade! Food in Jars Mastery Challenge for 2017

Yesterday I completed my first challenge for the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge for 2017, a monthly skill based challenge for people interested in expanding our knowledge and skills in canning and preserving foods.

Here is the calendar for the 2017 Challenge:

Calendar of Preserving Skills
January – Marmalade
February – Salt Preserving
March – Jelly
April – Quick Pickles
May – Cold Pack Preserving
June – Jam
July – Hot Pack Preserving
August – Low Temperature Pasteurization
September – Fruit Butter
October – Drying and Dehydration OR Pressure Canning
November – Fermentation
December – Fruit Pastes

I had never made Marmalade before yesterday and while it was a lot of work I can say I am a new fan! Looking at the calendar I can say that February's challenge with salt preserving slightly terrifies me, cold and hot pack preserving I have never heard of,  I'm fascinated to learn what low temperature pasteurization is, and  I will definitely need some tools and supplies for fermentation. Needless to say, I am stoked about opportunities that this Challenge will create.

I should start by saying that I found so much serendipity in the facts that a) My husband brought home Cara Cara oranges from snow making without knowing that I had a Marmalade challenge and b) Of all my canning books with Marmalade recipes, only Marisa's book Food in Jars (of the #fijchallenge) had a Cara Cara recipe. 

Yesterday was a long day in the kitchen as Marmalade takes more work than other recipes for sure!

I thought about how much ginger I needed to peel and realized this could be a long day.

I sat at the counter and got to work, minus about a bazillion kid interruptions. Seriously, no sooner did I send them to the sled hill and set out my mis en place when they were back and asking for food!

Ginger Juice was a first for me!
This is my 'scant' one cup ginger juice!
After that I needed to zest my ten oranges. 
 That's a lot of zest and my hands were tired!
Then I needed to peel and Supreme my oranges. 

While I did that I needed to cook my confetti zest and reserve the water. 

And then it all stated to come together and cook. Look at those beautiful colors!

I couldn't find my candy thermometers anywhere so I had to use a meat thermometer. I asked SP after the fact and he told me that one broke in the drawer and then he broke on making maple syrup. Well if you can see the thermometer well enough, it is well over 220. I also used the saucer test on it and it passed, or so I thought, on the second test. However, my marmalade never really set. 

 I am more than pleased to have my first Christmas 2017 gift put up on January 8th - another first!

Thank you Marisa!

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