Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marmalade Recessitation

Even though the tenth was yet another day off from school, another day snowed in (We are now on Son of The Big Snow and another foot of snow), not much happened cooking wise. For breakfast, I made Eggs (not huevos) Rancheros. This involves making chili sauce, (I used salsa.)frying tortillas in lard or peanut oil (I prefer butter) and poaching the eggs in the chili sauce. Not a bad idea, and prevents the eggs from breaking as you scrape them out of the pan, since they are neatly nestled in the chili sauce. Being snowed in gives one an excuse to eat things like this for breakfast, arguing that it is helping to keep you warm.
Today, we had a breakthrough. The Berkshire Farmer called her New York cousin, (one of many actually) who advised her that she just had to boil the fruit in sugar syrup some more. So, after cleaning up the kitchen once again, I dumped three pints of f in ss into a sauce pan and started boiling. Now, for all you failed jelly makers out there reading this (if anyone is) the trick is to keep boiling. Also be careful, because at some point the stuff will boil over, so you have to keep it at a very low heat.
It probably boiled for another 30-40 minutes. (A useful blogger would have noted the time. Sorry folks.) And, lo and behold, it started doing that falling off the spoon thing in clots as advertised by the cookbook! The problem seems to be with the times. The book says test after ten minutes of boiling, so naturally, the uninitiated jelly maker things something should be happening after 10 or 15 or 20 minutes.
Since this recipe is making a vast quantity of marmalade, obviously, you have to boil longer. Once the 3 pints started jelling, I scraped the paraffin off the other jars, dumped the paraffin on the tea towel that was stiff with dried syrup from the last time, and started boiling down the rest of it in the big pot. So, as soon as the big pot jells, I will go back to melting paraffin and pouring neat little amounts on the marmalade in the clean jars, newly sterilized by the dishwasher.
Grapefruit Sherbet
After that, still squelching around the kitchen floor made sticky by two evolutions of marmalade manufacture, I turned to Grapefruit Sherbet. I told you I started all this as a way to get rid of huge quantities of grapefruit. It's my son's birthday party tonight, and my daughter is on a gluten and dairy free diet. So, grapefruit sherbet.
I have never made homemade ice cream, except in that handy little French ice cream maker, which my husband finally induced me to give away because we hadn't used it in three years. I boiled a cup of sugar with a cup of water, beat 2 egg whites into soft peaks, beat another cup of sugar into it, squeezed two cups of grapefruit juice, and tried to grate grapefuit peel. My husband leapt into the breach while I complained about how it's hard to grate stuff, and chopped a huge pile of peal into tiny little fragments. Then, I poured the sugar syrup and juice into the egg whites and wound up with something liquidy the color of high gloss white paint. Also, it appeared that it had separated. Hmm.
Right now, it's freezing in shallow pans. When it forms a mush, it has to be dumped into a bowl and beaten until smooth. Then, refrozen. We'll see what we come up with.

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