Orange Marmalade and Snow

Orange marmalade is on the stove. It is cooling. I started it yesterday, with oranges that I purchased. They were bigger than my Halos or Cuties that I love. The first one I tastes was sour, so, I went an bought my Halos.

I have a mental list of things I want to make and do. It isn’t a bucket list. I just don’t care for that term. It is simply a list of things in my life that I have tasted or seen, and want to make, myself. I want to learn the skills to make the creation.

One of those things is orange marmalade. Go figure. I am not even a big eater of orange marmalade, but I have had it at breakfast, at bed and breakfasts, and I thought it seemed like such a lovely, beautiful thing.

I got on Pinterest and looked up orange marmalade recipes. That is always fun, honing in on the recipe that I think will get close to the flavor that I want.

Yesterday, I sliced the oranges very thinly, as the recipe said. I cut off the rinds, and put the rinds, flesh and juice into the pot. I added water and sugar. Lots of sugar.

The recipe said to bring it to a boil and then turn it off, cover it and let it set overnight. That was a bit of a bummer for me because I don’t like to wait. It is an exercise in patience. So, I did it.

The fun part was that this morning, I got to put the pot on the stove and simmer it for a couple of hours, use my new candy thermometer and watch the jam turn a beautiful deep orange color. I think that is what I wanted to see all along.

There are certain colors that I have seen that show the richness of life. Many are from nature. Some, from chemistry and reactions and colors blending and changing one color into another.

You know how with some flowers, the petals will start out as one color and then morph into another? I love that and am fascinated by it.

Cooking and baking have a lot to do with color. There are some foods that are beautifully colored. I love to caramelize onions and other things to see the changes in the color and know that that change in color, that caramel, is a delicious flavor.

I love the color of been egg yolks and the color from putting an egg wash on breads and pastries, to get that lovely rich color. Oh, and that brown on meringues that you get from torching it? Love it.

I love the color of caramel, which I am going to make today. It is a flavor that I will add to a pastry cream that has 8 egg yolks. It will become a caramel tart.

At least that is what is in my head. It might get made, or it might not. But it will … someday, because it is on my list. MMy imaginary list.

I am going to put the marmalade in small jars and distribute. Will keep a jar for us.

Snow is falling. It is lovely on the trees at the back of our yard. I have the gas fireplace on, the washer and dryer and humming and I just changed my eye appt from this afternoon until next week. You don’t want to drive in Charlotte or this area, when there is snow or ice. It is a death wish.

And I have more things I want to make.

I still want to go somewhere the water is clear and blue and you can see 6 ft down.

I would like to have afternoon tea or high tea many more times.

I plan to make puff pastry this week. That should be interesting. The only time I tried that was over 35 years ago, and I caught the oven on fire.

I didn’t know squat about baking, or many other things. I don’t expect an oven fire, this time.

I remember the call I made to Nick. He was at work at Avon, and I called and said, “Well, I just caught the oven on fire. Good thing the house didn’t go up.”

It is the only time I have used a fired extinguisher.

Oh, I love the color of beets. Isn’t that the best purple? And radish red. Granny Smith apples have a unique color. Cherries are stunning, too. I think that is why I enjoy making jam. It is because of the color and smell.

Ok, I am rambling and probably bored you to smithereens. So, I will trot on with my day.

It looks like Ohio outside my window.

And it is a lovely sight.

Susan

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