Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grapefruit Marmalade

1. Grapefruit Marmalade

This was the last marmalade I attempted but it should have been the first. Grapefruit marmalade is actually extremely easy and it can be done on a small scale- like one grapefruit- or you can scale it up if you have a grapefruit glut. The only caveat is that this particular recipe calls for a 12-18 hour waiting period mid-stream. The easiest way to make this happen is to start in the afternoon and pick up again the following morning but plan ahead.

I dedicated 2 grapefruit to this recipe (2A) and I used it as a test of one of my food processor shortcut. Based on my previous batches of marmalade I was wondering if food processing the peel actually made the end product more astringent or bitter. So dedicated half of each peel (in case one peel was already more bitter) to a method of rind chopping.

2. A. My victims B. Peeling the victims C. Piles for each method and a spoon that isn’t effective D. Scraped rinds and a pith pile)
I peeled both grapefruit by slicing the peel in quarters to remove it (2B). and then tried two methods of scrapping out the pith- a toothed grapefruit spoon (2C) and a serrated paring knife. The spoon compressed the pith instead of removing it so the knife was much more effective. I was pinching the blade as I used it which was a little sketchy but I kept my fingers. Once the pith was removed (2D) half of each rind was roughly sliced and went in the food processor and half was diligently sliced into slivers as skinny as I could manage (3).
(Keep in mind that if you upscale the recipe to include more than one grapefruit you can combine everything without issue- this division was for the sake of science.)

3. Food processed grapefruit bits vs “thin” slices.
Of the fruits in my marathon grapefruit seemed to be the easiest fruit to remove the membranes from. I separated each fruit roughly into quarters and used my paring knife to slice out the “core” (PICTURE). Next I used my fingers to pop out the seeds-most of which were obnoxiously small. Finally I used my thumbs to separated one side of a segment from the membrane wall (PICTURE), then continued to pull it free from the outside membrane and around to the other side (PICTURE). Since the pulp ends up completely separated later in the process you can mangle the wedges without issue. The pulp from both fruits was combined in a bowl and mixed thoroughly before I split it between the two batches (PICTURE).

4. A. Grapefruit with “core” and with “core” removed B. Separating flesh from side membrane. C. Continuing to separate flesh from the rest or the membrane.
5. Grapefruit pulp

I used the same saucepan for each of my batches up to step 8 of my directions below (6). I had each batch staggered by about 10 minutes but conditions were essentially identical. I needed the pan so I shifted the pre-marmalade to Tupperware to “rest” for the allotted 12 hours.

6. See directions below. A. Boiling the rind B. Adding rind to fruit C. Mixture before boiling D. Mixture boiling (color becomes more orange) E. Mixture ready to “rest” (more volume present in rind mixture)

Then life happened and I couldn’t finish up that night so I put everything in the fridge and came back to it 2 days later. This did not adversely affect my end product as far as I can tell.

Instead of staggering my final boil I used the saucepan and a skillet at the same time (7). I consider this equal enough since they are from the same set and they have the same exposed surface area.

7. One batch in a skillet the other in a pan.
After the sugar was added and the mixture started to boil again it only took 6 minutes for my thermometer to get to 215 degrees which is supposed to be my magic temperature for gelling. I removed both batches from the heat and did a saucer test and definitely wasn’t ready to party (8A). I had everything going again quickly and at 13 minutes from the original boil my thermometer read 220. When I tried the saucer again I had the same results. One more time back to boiling and at 22:30 total time I pulled both batches because the skillet was foaming enough to spill over and I could not stir it back down and the mixture in the sauce pan was making popcorn popping noises. At this point my thermometer read 215 so I have given up hope on using it in the future. I packaged the marmalade in jars (8B) and processed with my fingers crossed. Now that things have cooled I can say that I would have liked a firmer gel but it isn’t bad.

8. A. Boiling marmalade nearing gel stage B. Marmalade ready to go into jars.
I can also say that the food processer method doesn’t affect the taste. However it does alter the texture of the final product and slightly reduce the volume. This makes sense because the rind bits are more compressible than the slices. I ended up with exactly 3 half-pint jars from the sliced peel and only about 2 and a half from the processed peels. So if you are lazy, in a hurry, or likely to lose fingers you are probably safe using the food processor (but see my notes on what went wrong).

Special Equipment: Water Bath Canner, Jars, lids, and bands, Canning funnel, bubble remover

Grapefruit Marmalade
(Recipe adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

1 grapefruit (or more)

1.       Wash grapefruit and score outside into quarters to peel.
2.       Scrape out pith with a knife and discard
3.       Slice peel into thin strips (or food process)
4.       Add to saucepan, cover with water and boil for 10 minutes
5.       Drain water and return to pan
6.       Working over a bowl, separate grapefruit segments from membrane and squeeze juice from membrane and discard
7.       Add 4 c water per grapefruit, and segments with juice to saucepan with peel strips and bring to a boil for 10 minutes
8.       Let stand at room temperature for 12-18 hours (or more). Can remain in pan for this.

9.       Return to a boil and boil for ~15 minutes until peel is tender
10.    Measure fruit mixture and return to heat
11.    While mixture is boiling stir in 1 c sugar for every cup of fruit
12.    Continue boiling and stirring until mixture reaches the gel stage (check using temperature, spoon or saucer tests)
13.    Ladle into jars leaving ¼ inch headspace
14.    Remove bubbles and adjust headspace if required
15.    Wipe rim, center lid, and screw band to fingertip tight
16.    Place jars in water bath canner and adjust water level to cover the jars if necessary
17.    Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes
18.    Turn off heat, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove jars
19.    Check seal in 24 hours. Reprocess or label and store

My Yield: Total about 2 ¾ pints or 5- 8 oz jars with some left over

Monday, March 14, 2011

Five Fun Things to Do with Citrus (aka Marmalade Marathon)

...and half the fruit didn't even have stickers
It is citrus season and even in the frozen hinterlands where I live the grocery store carts are overflowing with fruit. So much so that I could get 10 oranges for $1 last week. I bought more than my fair share of all manner and flavor of citrus fruits without having any idea what I was going to make or if I had what I needed. But I was determined to make. Then I came home and game planned (yes this is the wrong order) and realized I had to go back to the store and get both more jars and more specific fruits. After hemming and hawing for 2 days I settled on 5 recipes which is proof that 1. I am unable to control canning urges and 2. I had no idea how difficult citrus could be. But I had 30 temple oranges, 15 blood oranges, 9 navel oranges and 9 grapefruit waiting to be transformed.
I should also mention that I had never made marmalade before. I have “tried” twice before by buying citrus which I used in any number of other things before I even looked at a marmalade recipe. It was like I had some sort of subconscious block preventing me from marmaladery. And even moving into my most recent batch of madness I kept trying to back out at the same time I was buying more fruit.

This turns out to be not without foundation because marmalade was hard for me. I found myself continually impatient, bored and distracted, or trying to find shortcuts. Only once was this actually helpful and that result was mixed.

My biggest warning before you begin is know that making marmalade takes way more time than making other fruit concoctions (yes waiting for jelly juice to strain can take a while but you can walk away safely and do something else). You have to slice the peel into itty bitty slivers which are often thinner than my chubby fingers will let me slice. Some recipes require you to take off the membranes on each segment of fruit. I haven’t seen a recipe citrus marmalade recipe that calls for added pectin so you will be stirring and testing gel stages for a while. And some recipes call for a multiple hour wait period or several rounds of boiling in fresh water to get rid of bitterness from the rind. Unlike with the stock making I was pretty much constantly in the kitchen and I couldn’t really multitask. My 1 day marathon stretched into 4.

I spent a tremendous amount of time standing in front of this counter.

But I did in fact survive and I have 43 vibrant jars in storage plus a handful of remnants that didn’t quite fill a jar sitting in my fridge. I managed to make it through all five recipes and I got some bonus goodies out of the work. I also tried a few new-to-me techniques which I will recap in their own post.

Three marmalades, liquored preserves and a fruit salad

Here are my offerings complete with the many things that went wrong. Just like the canary promised.

  1.  Grapefruit Marmalade
  2. Blood oranges in Orangecello
  3. Morning Whiskey Marmalade
  4. Mixed Citrus Salad
  5. Hot Blooded Marmalade
  6. What went wrong (and a few things that went right)

A note on the “stumpy” jars. When packing up each recipe I filled one stumpy (or different) jar. These jars were given to me full of marmalade and other goodies by a friend who also cans and is much better at marmalade than I am because she is more patient. These jars are my very late Christmas offering to her.

Friday, March 11, 2011

From Chicken to Stock to Soup

This batch of chicken soup was inspired by the fact that all of the ingredients for it were ridiculously on sale in my local supermarket. I planned SOUP DAY when I planned my shopping trip and since I knew it was going to be a long one I did some stuff the day before as well.

For instance I measured out the water for the stock so that it would be at room temperature instead of cold when I started it boiling. (Yes I could have filled the pot with hot water the next day but I don’t trust my hot water heater.) I also chopped all of the veggies that would go in both the stock and the soup. I would have chopped up the chicken but it fit better in my fridge as a whole.

The stock recipe called for 4 stalks of celery but since none of the vegetables in the stock make it to the soup appearance doesn’t really matter. I used several smaller celery stalks from the inside of the bunch and some of the thicker parts of the leafy tops which came out to roughly ten 3-4 inch pieces. The celery plus 4 quartered onions and I was set for stock veggies. For the soup I ended up needing 1 big bunch of celery for my 3 c diced, 3 onions to get 2 cups diced and one bag of baby carrots for 3 cups chopped.

1. Soup Ingredients
On Soup Day morning I switched the burner on under my already full pot and brought the water to a boil while I went about my other morning business (like caffeinating myself). I also started my jars washing in the dishwasher because I knew I would forget about them otherwise.

Once I was fed and caffeinated, I started deconstructing the chicken. This was a hefty bird at 8.83 lbs and it was fattier than your average roaster but since it only cost me $6.35 I am not complaining. First I took off the skin and as much fat as I easily could. Next I haphazardly cut it in to pieces. (I ended up with legs, thighs, wings, breast meat, front/sternum and back. I was shocked at how easy it was to cut up the rib cage to get the front and back of the bird apart.) I didn’t go out of my way to break the bones to help release the marrow flavors but plenty of breaking happened anyway.

I added the chicken and the veggies to the pot (2A) and had it boiling by 10 am (2B). I let it boil until 12. I pretty much walked away from the pot but I probably should have stirred it a little more often as I had some chicken burn on the bottom of the pot.

After the 2 hour boil, I removed the pot from the heat and stuck it in the sink. This served 2 purposes. First it made it easier for me to reach in and scoop out the chicken (2C) and second I could fill the sink with cool water to speed up the fat separating process. I used a spaghetti scoop to pull out as many of the chicken and veggie chunks (2D) as possible from the stock (2E) and set them aside. Then I put the lid back on the pot and put it in a snow bank on my deck to coerce the fat to congeal at the top (2F).

Back in the kitchen I sorted through the steaming bowl of chicken mess (2G). I tossed the bones, skin, connective tissue and overcooked veggies and broke up the chicken for the soup. But really after 2 hours boiling the chicken practically shredded itself when I picked it up. This whole sorting task could have taken half an hour but I would stop shredding when my fingers started to burn and do something else (like switching laundry) for a few minutes while the chicken cooled more. I finished after an hour and then I brought the pot in from the cold and skimmed off a layer of gunk (2H). However I could still see tons of fat floating at the top of the pot. It wasn’t ready to congeal and trying to get it out with a ladle stirred it up and lost a lot of broth. It needed to cool more but I needed my pot back to wash it.

My solution was to switch the liquid to our brew kettle for temporary storage and while I was at it I filtered out the remaining chunks. I used pairs of rubber bands looped together and secured around the kettle handles to hold the cheese cloth in place and slowly dumped out my stock (2I). The stock (2K) went back in the snow for an hour. While I waited, I looked for any salvageable chicken bits in the goopy mess that got caught in the cheesecloth (2J) and took a break to eat lunch, wash dishes and reclaim my kitchen.

2. A. Starting the stock. B. Boiling the stock. C. Removing chicken chunks. D. cooked chicken and vegetables. E. Stock before straining. F. Stock in the snow. G. Shredded chicken ready for soup. H. Removing the nasty grease. I. Stockpot strainer set up. J. Chicken bits removed from stock. K. Cleaned up stock. L. Soup finally ready to boil.
All told I got 9.5 c of cooked chicken from my almost 9 lb bird. Since I only needed 6 c I froze the rest for a dinner next week (can you say enchiladas?).

Another hour in the snow got much more of the fat but not all of it. I could have put the pot back in the snow but I really wanted to get on with my life so I gave in to soup fat. Instead of pouring the stock from the brew kettle directly back into the stock pot, I took the time to measure my yield. I only came up with 25.5c instead of the 32c that the stock recipe is supposed to yield and that the soup recipe called for. I am used to my yields not matching the book so I planned ahead. Earlier in the week I made stock in a super easy but low yield way as a backup. I used this stock to bring the volume up to 33 cups with an extra cup thrown in for boil off.

I dumped in the shredded chicken and the new batch of veggies and spices into the stockpot and brought the soup to a boil (2L). My burner deficient stove took an hour to get to boiling. I let the soup boil for another half an hour and pulled it from the heat for canning.

While the soup was doing its thing I got my pressure cooker and everything else ready for the canning process. My jars were already clean in the dishwasher from earlier so I just turned on the plate warmer setting to get them prepped for the addition of hot soup. I put my lids in a small saucepan of water and got them simmering (not boiling) on the stove.

I made sure everything was set up before I pulled the soup from the heat. (3A). For each jar I would give the soup a good stir and simultaneously scooped the soup from the pot with a glass measuring cup. The veggies and the chicken would sink very quickly so if I wanted anything more than broth I had to be hurry. I put the soup in the jar, probed for bubbles, checked the headspace (3B), wiped the rim with vinegar (3C), put the lid on (3D) and tightened the band to finger tip tight (3E).

3. A Prepared canning counter. B. Checking headspace using mark on lid lifter. C. Wiping rims with vinegar D. Lid lifter in action E. Tightening bands
Once I had 7 jars ready I loaded the canner using a jar lifter, adjusted the water level to about halfway up the jars and sealed the lid (4B). I turned up the heat and waited for steam to start coming out of the vent hole. Once I saw steam I set a timer for 10 minutes to let the steam vent. After 10 minutes I put the weight on at 10 lbs (4C) and waited for the gauge to read 10 (4D-4F). Then I set a timer for 90 minutes and went on with my life. By this I mean I finished packing the jars and cleaned up.
Insert Picture of Canner (Caption Picture 4. A. My canner B. Ensuring proper alignment of lid C. Weight set at 10 lbs D. Starting to gain pressure E. Almost there F. Finally at 10 lbs.

After 90 minutes I turned off the heat and let the canner sit until the pressure on the gauge returned to zero. I unscrewed my lid and gently used a screwdriver to pry it from the bottom to break the seal. I removed the jars with a lifter and set them on the counter where they wouldn’t get bumped then I reloaded the canner for round two. I removed the last jars at 10:55 pm. Total time 13:25 plus some prep the day before. But keep in mind, if I had a better stove this would have gone much faster and much of this was walk away time.

I checked the seals the following morning and everything was perfect. I loosened the bands, labeled the tops, and put the soup in storage.

4. Finished Soup!
My last jar wasn’t quite full enough to have the proper headspace. I canned it anyway but I planned to use it in the next 2 weeks or so. In this case the concern was that over time the extra air would oxidize the food and reduce the quality, but I wasn’t worried about a few weeks.

5. The not quite full jar. No idea why the picture flipped sideways???
We ended up cracking open the jar 2 days later with grilled cheese for dinner. IT IS FANTASTIC. The chicken shreds do clump and knot together obnoxiously but the flavor was great.

Special Equipment: Stock pot, Stock pot, Pressure canner, jars with lids and bands, canning funnel, bubble removing tool (for soup only)

Remember, you can’t use a water bath canner for either the stock or the soup. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can freeze the soup or invite an army over for dinner.

(Original recipes from the Ball Complete Home Canning Book. I doubled everything but the chicken in the stock recipe and some spices.)

Chicken Stock
1 chicken, in pieces (original recipe calls for 1 chicken as well)
32 c water
4 stalks celery
4 onions quartered
20 black pepper corns
4 bay leaves (I added 6)
2 tbsp salt

  1. Bring chicken and water to boil then add other ingredients and boil gently for 2 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and save for soup or another purpose. Also remove and discard other ingredients. Strain stock through cheesecloth.
  3. Cool until fat solidifies and remove from stock.
  4. If proceeding to make chicken soup, measure yield and move to Chicken Soup recipe. Otherwise return stock to boil before placing in jars.

  1. While stock is cooking prepare pressure canner jars and lids
  2. Put hot stock in jars leaving 1 in headspace
  3. Wipe rims with paper towel dipped in vinegar before placing lid on jar
  4. Screw bands on until fingertip tight and place jars in canner
  5. Adjust water level in canner (follow canner manual for this) and seal
  6. Vent steam for 10 minutes then close vent and continue heating until 10lb pressure is reached (or whatever pressure is required for your altitude)
  7. When pressure is reached start timer for 20 minutes (pint jars) or 25 min (quart jars) as appropriate
  8. After time has elapse turn off heat (but don’t move hot and very heavy canner) and let everything cool and depressurize naturally. (= be patient and don’t touch until you are sure the pressure is 0)
  9. Remove the lid and wait 10 more minutes before moving jars to a safe place to cool
  10. Check jars after 24 hours to ensure proper seal. Label and store.

Chicken Soup
32 c chicken stock (Above recipe plus additional if required)
6 c diced cooked chicken (From above recipe)
3 c diced celery
3 c diced carrots
2 c diced onions
1-3 bouillon cubes optional
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Prep canner, jars and lids before you get started
  2. Add all ingredients to large stockpot and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Put hot soup in jars leaving 1 in headspace
  4. Use plastic utensil to remove air bubbles and check headspace.
  5. Wipe rims with paper towel dipped in vinegar before placing lid on jar
  6. Screw bands on until fingertip tight and place jars in canner
  7. Adjust water level in canner (follow canner manual for this) and seal
  8. Vent steam for 10 minutes then close vent and continue heating until 10 lb pressure is reached (or whatever pressure is required for your altitude)
  9. When pressure is reached start timer for 75 minutes (pint jars) or 90 min (quart jars) as appropriate
  10. After time has elapse turn off heat (but don’t move hot and very heavy canner) and let everything cool and depressurize naturally. (= be patient and don’t touch until you are sure the pressure is 0)
  11. Remove the lid and wait 10 more minutes before moving jars to a safe place to cool
  12. Check jars after 24 hours to ensure proper seal. Label and store.

My yield: 11 quart jars (+ 3.5 cooked chicken in freezer)
Start time: 9:30 am
End time: 10:55 pm
Total cost: 0.85/jar (not including jar/lid prices)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still no internet

I couldn't upload pictures so I held back from posting the last of the chicken soup posts. It will be up tomorrow at lunch. I also completed the Marmalade Marathon and that will start on Monday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Free" Chicken Broth (aka Prep for Soup Day)

Stephanie O'Dea's new Crockpot cooking book has a recipe of sorts tucked in the back for making stock from ‘waste’ vegetable scraps. I can’t compost and I don’t have a pet to feed celery ends to so this seemed like a brilliant idea. Why had I never considered this before? I wanted to get started yesterday. However, I couldn’t get the roommates to acquiesce to a bag of waste veggies in an already full freezer so I had to put it on hold.

The move put me in charge of my own kitchen and I started my big bag of vegetable bits right away. Unfortunately, I didn't do any shopping for the month and a half or so surrounding the move. The only veggies I had on hand were celery and onions. Though my bag filled up quickly, I needed more variety before I was willing to actually try this out.

I got this chance when every manner of soup vegetable and whole chickens went on sale at the same time. I intended to can chicken soup from scratch but I didn’t trust the stock recipe to give me the proper yield. I needed a cheap and easy plan B and this was it. But since I technically wanted chicken stock I needed to modify. Stephanie has another recipe for making chicken stock from a chicken carcass so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken when I bought everything to make my soup and I had what I needed to make greatness happen. Veggie bits, carcass and Crockpot…ready, set, go.

I needed to diversify my scrap bag, make some plan B stock, and save as much time as possible on Soup Day since I knew I would be cooking all day. I decided the best way to accomplish this was to cut up my veggies for the soup the day before I needed. This would also let me make the Plan B stock and let it sit overnight to separate the fat before I had to cook with it.

It occurred to me that since I was using scraps from beginning to end I might save myself a cleanup step if I lined my Crockpot with a square of cheesecloth before I added the ingredients. I had no idea if this would work but it seemed to perfect to pass up. So I set the insert on the counter, lined it with the cheesecloth and got started. And since I dumped things in to the pot as I dismantled them for later projects this recipe is kind of free in regards to time as well as money.

First, I stripped the tasty chicken morsels from the rotisserie chicken and froze those for a quick meal or salad topper later in the month. Then I channeled my inner cave dweller and tore the carcass into pieces and tossed it in the pot.
Dismantled Chicken
Next I dumped in my veggie bits bag from the freezer and piled on more veggies as I chopped them for the soup. I started with more than enough onions and celery before the soup prep and when I was done I had too many veggie bits to close the lid of the pot so I ended up reserving extra scraps for later stock.
Ingredients ready to go
I sprinkled on a few shakes of parsley, basil, and garlic and three bay leaves and covered the mess with 7 c of water. (I filled the pot to the top. It is supposed to cook best at 2/3 full but I always, without fail, fill any Crockpot I use until I can barely close the lid. It takes longer and is less efficient but I do it anyway. It still works and I get more food.) I folded the corners of the cheesecloth over the ingredients, covered it, and set it on High for an hour to jumpstart the process. Then I turned it down to low for 6 or so hours.

When the broth was done I carefully (because everything was hot and wet) balled up the corners of the cheesecloth and used a couple of rubber bands to keep the pseudo-knot tight. I looped this makeshift sieve over a knob on one of my upper kitchen cabinets and let it drain into the stock for about an hour. Every 15 minutes or so I would poke at the bag from the bottom and the sides to rearrange things and I stopped when the bad wasn’t dripping any more. I didn’t squeeze the bag because I have it in the back of my head from making jelly that you don’t squeeze juice bags. When I was done it was magically easy to remove the rubber bands from the cloth and dump the waste in the garbage.
My brilliant cheesecloth idea
I put the lid back on the pot and stuck it in the fridge to cool overnight and in the morning the fat was waiting at the top of the stoneware just begging to be removed. Mostly free ingredients, mostly free time, and easy cleanup. Perfect.
The 4 stages of Stock. Before cooking, after cooking, before chilling, after chilling (not much change)
As far as taste goes…If I had been using only that stock in a soup it would have been way to celery flavored. Since I mixed it in with other stock it was fine. It got mixed into soup and canned with fantastic results. In fact this worked so well that I repeated it the following week and got less strongly celeried results.

Special Equipment: Cheesecloth (optional), 6 qt or larger slow cooker.

Scrap Chicken Broth
(Adapted from More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, by Stephanie O’Dea, Chicken Broth and Vegetable Stock recipes)
1 chicken carcass
Vegetable scraps, frozen, saved from previous cooking (include onion skins, skip broccoli/cabbage/etc., potatoes, mushrooms.)
3 bay leaves
1 T Italian seasoning (or Parsley, Basil and Garlic Powder)
7 C water

  1. Line 6 qt Crockpot with cheesecloth
  2. Break chicken carcass into pieces and add to crockpot with vegetables. It is okay if these are still frozen if they are broken up.
  3. Cover with water, add spices and stir
  4. Fold in cheesecloth, cover and cook on high for 1 hour then on low for 6
  5. Use cheesecloth to strain liquid
  6. Discard chicken and vegetable scraps and place stock in refrigerator for several hours or over night
  7. When cool remove fat from surface of stock
  8. Place in containers in the freezer if not using right away.

My Yield:  7.5 c 
Stock Photo!
(Please note the plastic caps on the jars. I planned to use this right away. You need to freeze or pressure can this if you want to keep it for any length of time before you use it.) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Already with the excuses

News from the little apartment of chaos...

We still have no internet which makes me wanting to keep a blog regularly a little hard. I think I found a way to cheat though. Hopefully it works. You and I can find out together on Friday.

Between the last post and this there as been a soup making extravaganza and I am about to begin a marmalade marathon. I think. I apparently have subconscious issues about marmalade because every time I buy fruit to make it I find excuses not to until the fruit is bad or eaten another way. Even today while I planned out my next steps to obsessive compulsive perfection I was trying to get out of marmalade. I am still trying. (Why do you think I am writing this right now?) But now that you know about it I will be compelled towards greatness. 

I have also been baking bread with mixed results. Maybe I should swallow my pride and use the bread machine for the knead cycles. Maybe I am not as bad ass as I would like to think. I of course did not take pictures. 

One thing I am learning about all of this is that pictures+cooking simultaneously is hard. You are always sticky or floury or covered in chicken slime at the best time to grab a shot. How do people do this for real? Plus I have yet to dig the boyfriends camera out of the wreckage so I can stop using my cell phone. Man have I got a long way to go. 

Expect posts to start for realz on Friday.