Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mar-Mar 4.0

Eastside Road, November 20, 2015—
HERE STANDS COOK at her work-table at the end of the second stage of the annual Mar-Mar event, when we get together with Alta (away this time) and Donna and a load of Yuzus to make marmalade and drink Martinis. Many hands make light the work, my grandfather used to say, and while some of us look forward to the event with somewhat mixed emotions, we all wind up having fun.

We had about twelve and a half pounds of fruit to deal with, and here's what we did:

day one:
• cut the Yuzus in half, crosswise of course
• using a silver dinner fork, punch the recalcitrant seeds out of the flesh, setting the seeds aside
• using a silver teaspoon, scoop the membranes and flesh away from the halved fruits
• using a sharp stainless-steel knife, cut the halved shells into strips of citrus peel
• tie the reserved seeds into a cheesecloth bag
This gave us three quarts of pulp, including what little juice we got, and seven quarts of peel
• put peel, flesh and membranes, and (bagged) seeds into a large container, adding cold clear water — we added nine quarts of water, giving us fourteen quarts of mix altogether.
That was the first day: an hour to seed the Yuzus, another to cut the strips, a half hour for mixing and cleanup. We set the mix aside to soak overnight, and relaxed with a Martini.

day two:
• divide the mix, which will have become quite thick and slimy, into lots small enough for your pots — we used two large copper preserving pots: one held six and a half quarts, the other seven and a half
• add sugar. We use organic granulated cane sugar, and the ratio is important: in this case, eight and a half pounds in the smaller pot, nearly ten pounds in the larger
• cook at a quiet rolling boil to the setting point (keep a small saucer in the freezer: trail a bit of the hot marmalade onto it to see if it sets)
• ladle finished marmalade into clean hot jars and seal in the usual way
That took us from quarter of five until seven o'clock, after which we relaxed with our Martinis. The yield? Almost four gallons of marmalade, distributed among fifty jars of various size…

Thanks for the fruit and the help, Donna! It's always fun!

pulp and peelpips and peel

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peel, pips, and pulp the mix on the fires the finished product

Cook and Donna do the filling
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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