Friday, January 9, 2009

Orange Marmalade, Day One, And Miscellaneous Musings


Actual Photo - Not Lifted From Flickr!


At the risk of ruining my image - whatever that might be - and appearing domestic, I'll fess up. I spent my afternoon making the beginnings of orange marmalade. This is an actual untouched photo of my efforts. I picked the oranges from our tree moments before slicing them. These are blood oranges - very sweet and juicy with a bright red blush. The juice looks like a sunset.

Did you know marmalade is a three day process? The first day you wash and slice the oranges along with one lemon and set them in a very large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water for each cup of sliced oranges. In this case I have 8 cups of oranges so I added 12 cups of water to the bowl. These will sit over night.

Tomorrow, day two, I will put the oranges and water into a large pot and cook them slowly for one to two hours until they are tender. Then I'll let them cool and sit overnight again.

On day three, Sunday, I will add 8 cups of sugar - one cup for each cup of fruit - and cook 20 minutes or until the mixture sheets off of a spoon.

Then I will put the marmalade into jelly jars, seal them, buy a truck load of crumpets and English muffins and enjoy.

The color of the marmalade is a brighter orange than most because of the red juice. This is a sweet marmalade unlike the more traditional version that's made with bitter oranges.

Perhaps I'll bring a few jars over to Mt. Vernon for the Inauguration Day brunch!


An Orchid of Many Colors

This one of my hybrid orchids. It blooms profusely and whenever it feels like it. It's still budding and has been in bloom since Thanksgiving. Notice the flowers? When they first open they are a light purple. Those in the upper left have just opened. Those on the right have been in bloom for about a week, and the color is beginning to lighten and change. The flowers in the front have been in bloom for about 3 weeks and have made their change to yellow! Magic!



Look up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?? It's Flyboy and the Mister buzzing the house. The Mister called me just as they were flying over and I dashed out with my trusty camera.






A December sunset off of Honeymoon Island.
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This picture was taken a day or two after Christmas. Just before sunset we took a quick trip over to Honeymoon Island in Dunedin. Most folks were leaving the Island just as we arrived. We spent some time finding shells - mostly turbans, cockleshells and a few periwinkles while we watched the sun set and then we all went out to dinner.
I have to admit we left just seconds after this picture was taken - the Island is unlit and finding our way out after dark is a bit tricky. The correct way to watch a Florida sunset is to wait until it is completely over the horizon, give the sun a standing ovation, and then go home.

18 comments:

Buttercream Cottage said...

I never knew it took 3 days to make marmalade. Your orchids are beautiful. I loved the pictures too.

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage said...

I didn't know about the 3 days either. It takes a while, but the process seems fairly straight forward. Sounds yummy!

Janeen said...

We'll just call you Betty Crocker for short. Beautiful post today, so much eye candy, I lurve it!

Martha said...

Wow, You are a real Ballabustalah! (means Uber Housewife in Yiddish). Orange Marmalade from blood oranges, ooh, I can't stand it!!
Beautiful pictures, Muse Swings.

A. said...

I used to make marmalade with my grandmother as a kid. I haven't made any since she passed away. This post makes me think I should.
It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure it will be delicious.

MuseSwings said...

There may be recipies that take one or two days, but I like this one - the advantage is the house smells of oranges for 3 days. Thank you for your comments!

steviewren said...

Muse, this was the quintessential Florida post. Oranges from your own tree, blooming orchids (outside, not the pampered inside variety), an island, a beach replete with shells and a sunset. Just rub it in some more! By any chance were the Mister and Flyboy pulling a sign behind the plane that said "Florida, the sunshine state" too?

MuseSwings said...

Steverino - yer right! That post is like the Sunshine and Shuffleboard Ladies Cookbook. It's going to be chilling here for a few days. My toes are already cold - I'm going to have to change out of my sandals any minute now.

Debby said...

Muse, dear, put some sneakers on and quit being sadistic. Thank you.

Yaya said...

Thanks for the editorial on making marmalade! Sounds yummy!

Jeanne said...

We had an ice storm here last night, our back steps are an invitation to suicide.

Wanna trade houses for a couple of months?

Marie Reed said...

I am suddenly craving tea and a scone:)

Marie Reed said...

Hey I don't have to type a code now to comment!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

Bibi said...

This is a beautiful post, every single picture and commentary was a delight to read...now if I could only sample your marmalade...maybe I'll try some of my own...

marianne said...

wow lovely pictures !
This seems like s a whole different world to me!
And there is the orange marmelade you mentioned..............lucky you!

Seeker said...

glad you liked the poem...will visit again to see your blog again....great pics....thanks

Blicky Kitty said...

Those orchids are spectacular. We have lady slipper growing wild at the Blicky Homestead which I think is a distant cousin. They are so unabashedly beautiful... It must be fun to watch things grow year round like that!

marianne said...

Oh yummy!!!!!
I love oranges! I´m allergic to a lot of fruit, but I can eat orange, I love it!