Saturday, February 11, 2012
Further Adventures in Domesicity
Well, I had my first full on canning disaster. I was really excited to use my new canner that my mother bought me for Christmas (in action above - it's so nice and big!). I got it filled up with jars, and those sterilized, and I also got to use the new jar lifter I bought myself with part of my Christmas gift certificate spoils.
Love the new tools. The canner fits so many more jars it'll open up another level of recipe sizes to me, and this jar lifter is way better than the one I had, that came from the Ball accessories kit. The new one is a Ball as well, but it's got a fused edge to business end of the tongs. The cheaper one had plastic rollers, and I was never really confident lifting up smaller, empty jars with the old one. The new one works like a charm with small jars.
So anyway, inspired by the bags of blood oranges that you can currently snag at Trader Joe's, I decided to take a stab at the Blood Orange Port Marmalade in Ellie Topp's Complete Book of Year-Round Small Batch Preserving. It's a really small batch, meant to make 2 cups.
It started out well. I don't know exactly what kind of alchemical process was happening in the first step of cooking, but I swear it smelled like rose petals.
And then I added the sugar. And here's where it went wrong. I think the pot I used was too big, with too much surface area, and I pulled it off well before it was supposed to be done, because I could tell something was wrong. But I was too late. And I got orange flavored hard candy.
At least it was a small batch. And I haven't royally screwed up anything else yet, so I suppose I was due. I'm just bummed I didn't actually get to process anything in my new canner.
There was a recipe on the facing page of the cookbook that made a larger batch, and also incorporates cranberries, of which I have a metric ton in my freezer, so I think I know what I can do to get back on the wagon. Now - to find the time...