More rain. More people complaining about the rain. Hello, people? Must I force you to revisit Facebook posts from this time last year in which we were all whining about how hot it was and where was all the rain?
I like the rain. Gives me a calm day to put stuff in jars.
You know, a calm day after I had to drive into rainy-weather traffic to fetch the lids and pectin that I was lacking. After yelling my way through the rain-slicked streets filled with inconsiderate, aggressive, or just plain ignorant drivers (including one who repeatedly swerved and blocked intersections but who sported a “Namaste” bumper sticker – in his case, I believe that would translate into “the douchebag in me bows to the douchebag in you”), I made my way back home and let RouBarb’s gentle old lady dog out to “tinkle,” subdued my Little and Big dogs with chewies, unloaded an online rant so as not to cook angry, and started sterilizing jars…and let the jamming begin. Again.
Om…many jars to fill…
I already have three new half-pints in the fridge from a spur of the moment attempt at lavender-rose jelly. The poncy antique roses bushing up on either side of my kitchen window were flowering lovely dark red blooms with a spicy scent. Cramoisi superieur, they’re named. I picked them and steeped them with some lavender, then cooked that up with sugar and pectin and threw that in a few jars:
So I’m flush with sweet, fruity jams and these herbal jellies…but out of marmalade. Food in Jars has a fabulous recipe, which earns her a shameless plug. Love her recipes. And like she says, you can’t feel like Maggie Smith while drinking a lovely cup of Earl Grey without some homemade marmalade.
But here’s the thing about making this marmalade. I feel a bit like Jame Gumm. Remember him? The serial killer from The Silence of the Lambs? Read on. You’ll see.
First, God bless Texas for so many things, but right now for abundant fruits and vegetables. And being able to drive to the store in the middle of winter. And for very cool Tervis tumblers filled with icy cold Diet Coke.
Here are my lovely citrus fruits. Two grapefruit, four oranges, and three lemons. See them shudder? They know what’s coming.
And here they are, skinned. By me. “Buffalo Bill.”
Only I’m not making a suit out of them. I’m going to julienne those skins, carve up the citrus, throw fruit flesh and skins in a pot with sugar, boil them up, and stick them in jars.
Out of their skins, they move to the supreming stage. Isn’t that a great verb?
I supreme, you supreme, we all supreme. In foodology, “to supreme” means to separate fruit from its membranes. Food in Jars kindly provides a great link to a how-to, as well as a great pic of it on her blog. This gives me a reason not to painstakingly take and post pics of the supreming process, and instead to skip to the already supremed fruits.
(Incidentally, this stage reminded me of a line I heard while watching A Lion in Winter this morning while having coffee. Queen Elenor lectures Prince Richard on killing for survival, not being an assassin. Richard responds with, “I never heard a corpse ask why it suddenly got cold.” Great stuff. Love this movie.)
And (also skipping the boiling, bubbling waiting) isn’t the result gorgeous?
Now to treat myself like a titled lady: Gosford Park on the telly, a cup of Earl Grey, lovely homemade marmalade, and buttermilk biscuits instead of scones…because I am, after all, a Southern lady.
So which of my peeps want some? Be warned that I may ask for something in return…
Quid pro quo, little Starlings.