Monday, January 18, 2010

Sweet orange marmalade and some equally sweet awards!

Have you ever smelled an orange blossom in an orange field? If you haven't let me tell you that it is one of the most delicate and refreshing scents ever! I stayed in southern California for a couple of years and our winter weekend gateway there used to be hiking in the nearby hills where due to the elevation it would somehow seem more wintry (well, relatively atleast :D). We used to start early in the morning; hike during the day; grab a cup of coffee and then head back down in the evening. While driving back to the city we would pass through these gigantic orange fields in bloom and oh boy, I would just open up the car windows and let the most refreshing citrusy scent fill up my nose and my mind!

Its amazing how our mind associates foods with memories! Last weekend local farmer's market carried such fresh and sweet varieties of navel oranges, satsumas, mandarins, meyer lemons that for a moment unknowing to myself I flashed back to those SoCal winter evenings! I couldn't resist picking a few navel oranges for some home-made orange marmalade. The store-bought marmalades are okay but I feel they are a tad too sweet and not orangy enough. So I usually make my own take on it. Contrary to perception orange marmalades is one of the easiest things to make. I usually make a very small amount that I can finish off in a couple of weeks, so I don't need to worry about the nitty-grittys of canning.


(Follow the read more link below for the rest of the recipe)
Recipe:
Source: Adapted from Alton Brown recipe here.
Ingredients:
3 large navel oranges (organic preferred -- see note)
1/2 lemon
1C orange juice
1C water
1/2C sugar or honey (original recipe called for double the sweetner)
1 cardamom
pinch of dried ginger (optional)
pinch of salt

Recipe:
    1.  Using a grater zest the oranges and lemon to produce around 1/2C of peel.
   2. Using a knife chop off the tops and bottoms of the oranges so they stand well. Remove the white skin around the oranges, like so:

   3. Cut the oranges into slices. Remove as much of white stuff (pith, skin and membrane) as you can and set the orange flesh aside. I got around 2.5C of orange flesh from 3 oranges.
   4. In a stainless-steel heavy bottomed pan add orange flesh, juice of half a lemon, water and orange juice. Heat on medium high heat until the mixture starts to boil.
   5. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat to simmer and let simmer (uncovered) for 40minutes or so until the oranges have pretty much fallen apart.
   6. Now add orange peel, sugar, cardamom, salt and ginger powder and let cook for 20mins more until the mixture darkens in color.
   7. Meanwhile, set a small plate in freezer for 15-20mins. The taste of done-ness for marmalade is to add a small teaspoonful on the frozen plate and move the plate back to freezer. After 3 minutes if the marmalade has  set well (not runny and not very hard) then the marmalade is ready.
   8. If its too runny, let cook for some more time. If very hard, then add some more orange juice and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat, let it cool.
   9. Heat a very clean glass jar with 1Tbsp water in microwave for a minute. Take it out. Pour the marmalde in the glass jar, cover tightly.

Notes:
  1. I love to use orange peels in my marmalade.. since we are using the skin of oranges I feel its best to use organic oranges here which have less likelihood of carrying the pesticides or waxy residues on the skin.
  2. My oranges were super-sweet so 1/2C sugar was all I needed. You may increase sugar to 1C depending on your sweet-tooth and the sweetness of oranges :)
  3. If you are making a larger batch or want to preserve the marmalde for longer than a few weeks, proper canning procedures are highly recommended. You can read here for the canning procedures.
  4. Orange peels are very healthy and I love the slight edge they give to the marmalade.. they do have a bit of bitterness though, so feel free to skip the peels if you wish or use peels of just one orange instead of all three.
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Okay, now some award time! Recently three of the fellow bloggers pleasantly surprized me with these lovely awards:

First stop is Dolly of Curry and beyond fame who awarded me this beautiful blogger award. Dolly has a most wonderful blog with delicious home-cooked recipes and equally warm writeups! Do stop by at hers! Thanks Dolly!


The second one is an award which was so graciously given to me by not one but two of the fellow bloggers. SE of Denufood and Sayantani of A Home-makers diary. SE has a great space with some scrumptious Marathi recipes and some of the most unique and delicious recipes from all-around the world! Do check-out her blog at Denufood.

Have you ever seen a rose-garden so very beautiful and at the same time so very delicious? If not, you must visit Sayantani here for her edible rose-garden :) With her warm writeups and creative artwork, you will be hooked onto her blog in no-time! Thanks SE and Sayantani both for this Creative Blogger award:


Now as part of this award I have got to share 7 secrets about myself. So here you go (oh and don't run away from this blog after you have read these ;)

  • I have an unreasonable and totally illogical fear of amusement park rides - particularly the scary ones and have escaped ridding even a single one for last 10 some years!
  • I have always loved the concept of gardening and have always imagined myself to own at some point a decent enough yard where I will grow all the vegetables and fruits! I say concept because all my real-life attempts at gardening have been disastrous.. that too being in California! I have convinced that its not me but instead its because I am growing veggies and herbs in pots on my apartment balcony instead of in direct soil.. though there is no denying it, I really need some green thumb or some Gardening 101 class!
  • I love to read, knit and crochet. Major Jane Austen and Harry Potter fan!
  • I am a gym junkie.. love to workout and love equally to nag my husband to visit gym :)
  • Not much of a movie goer.. the last one I watched was like close to a year ago. But yes, before you get excited, Avatar is on my list next!
  • I come from a professional painting family.. my grandfather was a very well-known pro painter who used to do banners for all the big-hit Marathi movies at his time. How I wished I had inherited his painting gene, but alas.. I think it skips siblings :( My brother is an excellent sketch artist but there isn't much of a painting talent in me. Even as a kid I would dream of growing up to be this wonderful painter who when agitated or sad retreats to a painting room in her own house and paints for hours making a master-piece that people would oohh over.. well, I don't have a big house with a painting room and I certainly don't come anywhere close to the painting talent I imagined myself to have, but I do paint once in a while (acrylics) sitting in a corner of my tiny apartment :D, here is one of my latest one, its not very good by any means, but painting is indeed a great meditating art that I hope to continue pursuing!

I pass on both of these awards to all of my wonderful readers and fellow bloggers who visit this space and leave these encouraging words for me that surely make my day! Please feel free to collect it. You guys are the best, thanks! :)

49 comments:

  1. Don't I love the sweet-tangy flavors of the delectable orange marmalade!!! Awesome pics Prajakta! The painting is really good (you could be as good as your grandfather one day)...I can't even paint the night sky for nuts!hahaha....so pat yourself on your back!

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  2. Wonderful recipe and painting too !!! Good to know more about you. Love your writing too !!

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  3. Orange marmalade has not been a favorite of mine but homemade is something else altogether. Organic oranges in a farmers's market no way for us on this coast.

    Potted plants on a balcony are not easy, that in no way determines your gardening abilities. Just like the painting clearly shows you are indeed talented.

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  4. PJ, I see your name in lot of blogs and have'ntvisited your place till now. Glad that I came here today, congrats on the award!

    The painting is nice..and so are those 7 secrets :)

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  5. Preeti, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words :) Marmalade is sure of my favorites and I make mine very orangy too!

    SE, thanks! I am so glad you liked it and thanks for the award too.

    indo, try a home-made marmalade, I am sure it will change your mind about marmalades :) Not so sure about gardening, I have managed to kill simplest things like potted basils which seems to grow at others places like weed! I always marvel at your gardening though!

    Ruchika, thanks and welcome to my blog! I am so glad you enjoyed here, and hope to see you often!

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  6. wow beautiful clicks and wonderful painting...U really paint so well and ur very talented i must say ...and congraz on all your awards,it ws nice reading abt u PJ...

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  7. First of all i should say you are a great photographer..beautiful clicks..

    OMG i love your painting, i don't think it skipped you the talent is surely in you..i can see that in your canvas..

    I love painting too that is my passion , i wanted to always learn from a pro but never been so lucky to find a good teacher..so are so lucky that it is in your family..

    Good luck dear and congrats for your awards too

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  8. getoutahere...You are phenomenal....!! wow!!

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  9. Wow such a fantastic orange marmalade..Looks toooo awesome..

    Beautiful painting PJ...congrats on ur awards..

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  10. The orange marmalade looks awesome...

    Congrats on your award! And the painting is definitely really good,and you say, that you dont possess the talent???? I myself paint (acrylics) but have stopped since 6 months... (well, thats another story)

    Like you, even I nag my hubby to go to the gym :)

    take care,
    Rachana

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  11. Great post! I have never smelled orange blossoms but now I really really want to :)
    We have a lot in common...I am not much of a movie goer but watched 2 movies last month(!!) Avatar (boring and cliched but some parts are eye candy) and Sherlock Holmes (entertaining but nothing like the books).
    You sure have multiple talents, PJ!

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  12. hi dear. kashi ahes?
    Honestly I am not a big fan of marmalade but ur entire narration has tempted me to give it a try.I can empathise with u in a sense that even I feel I am not a good painter as my mother who is from a fine arts background. But u surely have a sense and nack for colours.The painting surely looks good.

    The only credit which probably I have achieved in terms of arts is bagging a firts prize in rangoli making during college days, I had learnt to make scenery using rangoli colours from my Mom and that helped..LOL

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  13. Wow I love marmalade ... your looks awesome and really orangy tmepting.... The painting is gorgeous... you are really talented.

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  14. Dear PJ, Awesome Click. IT seemed like its from some gourmet magazine..Superb. I love oramge marmalade. I have'nt made it at home yet..but now I will soon. Looking at ur beautiful and yummy Marmalade..who wants store bought right..or maybe you could send me some.LOL. Also enjoyed reading ur intro.. as I love hiking as well but never did get a chance to go hiking and pass by the orange orchards. It must feel so good,I can only imagine.

    Also thanks for accepting the award and your kind words for me as well as congratulations on all the well deserved awards...

    Loved reading about you and you are are an awesome painter as well..( U have it in ur genes) I love to paint as well(oil painting) but I'm not that gd..and have not painted in a while. Also do go and watch the movie 3 idiots..u'll love it..I Know u don't watch many movies..but this one is huge..

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  15. Being in CA, one of the beauty is Citrus! Winter is always filled with those fruits!
    This one is really tempting me to try- I ve some oranges got from Farmers market!

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  16. Hey P J

    Delectable orange marmalade...i would love to make it..i'll use your recipe..

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  17. Oh PJ where Should i start? the Marmalade is so tempting to try, the painting is wonderful and those 7 secrets are something more of our dear PJ. I wish I would have been a Gym Junkie too. am so pathetically laid back...last but not the least thanks a ton for your kind words.

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  18. Wonderful painting & a super delicious marmalade. Congrats on your award.

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  19. let me start by saying that the marmalade is just beautiful, second, Congratulations on the awards, third ...interesting meme, i too fear the rides and finally you sure are gifted, thts a beautiful painting, afterall its in your genes :)

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  20. Oh PJ ,am going to do this wonderful marmalade soon-love the pics of ur oranges with the green leaves on...so sweet!!!!
    Oh ur bro is sure talented and can imagine ur grandad in the movies!!!
    Congrats on ur wonderfull awards-u deserve so many more for ur wonderful blog!!!

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  21. ha ha ha,so sweet am reading about u..hey i love watching movies and am watching one rite now-on HBO and dont even know the name.
    Yeah in hindi i loved RNBJ-yeah Shah RUkh Khan fan...

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  22. C'mon, you are talented and has the gene :D great job girl ! I have a love -hate relationship with the roller coaster rides :-)Great to know about you dear...
    Great clicks as always..As you said it makes sense when you say. use organic ones for this recipe :-)

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  23. Sushma, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words :)

    Preety, thanks so much, you are too kind! You should totally take up painting again.. for most part I re-taught myself acrylics after coming to US using Painting Basics book series of Jerry Yarnell (the painting attached is also one of the instruction painting there). The book is so well written and instructions are clear enough that even a beginner like me was able to follow along :) Give it a try, I think you will love the results!

    s, thanks! I must say I was inspired a lot after seeing your Tanjores! work of art they are!

    Priya, thanks! I am so glad you liked the orange marmalade and the painting :) Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words!

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  24. Rachana, thats great! I would love to see some of your work.. I am sure you are very good at it just like in cooking! Isn't it fun to nag the husbands to go to gym... I love it sometimes when I am munching on pizza and asking my husband to go work-out :D

    Thanks, Nupur, you are very sweet! I have been off of knitting/crocheting for many months now.. but your posts continue to inspire me to pick up needles and yarns! Sherlock holmes was also on my list to watch but then dropped it later when a friend said he preferred the PBS series much better than the movie.. according to him a lot of dhishum-dhishum and not a lot of deduction in the movie version :) Did you like it?

    Hi Pari, me majet! Tu kashi aahes? Wow, rangoli making is such a delicate and precise art.. would love to see your work sometimes, congrats! We have so much in common, even my mother is good in Rangoli. So I guess you know what I mean then that the art is always so relative.. in front of my family's art background I can never really feel that I am good at it :D

    Pavithra, yes, the marmalde was sure orangy-goodness! I love eating it with whole-wheat breads.. hope you make it sometime! Thanks for your kind words!

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  25. Dolly, if you love marmalade then you are sure to love this home-made version.. you can tweak so many things like make it more orangy, add cardamom, I just love it! Thanks a lot for the award, Dolly! I would love to see some of your oil paintings, I find oils harder to deal with (they dry too fast for me), but oil painting does bring this nice effect that acrylics just lacks sometimes.

    Cham, I know, CA-winter=Citrus! So much variety is out there now-a-days! I am etching to have a hand at those delicious and colorful blood oranges I keep seeing in the market!

    Jagruti, thanks! I am so glad you liked the marmalade recipe! Do give it a try and let me know how it goes :)

    Sayantani, thanks so much for your kind words! I love home-made marmalades, I hope you give it a try sometimes! Thanks so much for the award, I had a lot of fun about thinking and then writing my 7-secrets!

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  26. A2Z vegetarian cuisine, thanks! I am so glad you liked the painting and the marmalade :)

    Rahin, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words! Every year I visit a theme-park I vow to get over my irrational fears but it just gets stronger, you know =p

    VanillaStrawberrySpringfields, thanks so much for your kind words! I am so glad you liked the marmalade and the painting. Do give it a try and let me know how it turns out. Now, who doesn't love ShahRukh Khan :) not being much of a movie-goes I still have watched most of his movies!

    Gulmohar, thanks! Tell me about the rides :D though I never loved them really :) Yes, organics are best for this recipe; I never feel comfortable using large amounts of zest of the regular supermarket varieties.

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  27. My favorite orange marmalade! can you bring me some :) I always said you are a great painter. This one is beautiful.

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  28. congrats on the awards :) i really do like orange marmalade, i have some sugar free one in the fridge. but no one else eats jam here so, no chance of making this soon, maybe when i go to india, where everyone loves the jams i make!!! nice post :)

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  29. wow..you saying that you dont have painters genes??? you are kidding me ;)..loved it..nice to know good things about you..I am learning knitting..will seek your help. Excellent recipe..lovely clicks..

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  30. I never have tried Orange marmalade at home yet! Looking at yours..I can't resist to try it soon. Lovely clicks PJ!
    You are lucky about smelling orange blossoms. Nice to know about ur secrets. :)
    Wow..beautiful painting. very artistic you are! Don't stop it and keep doing. :)

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  31. Oops! Congratulations on awards! Wish you many more. :)

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  32. Amita, thanks! You sure got some :)

    Rajani, make it and then do canning so it will stay good for a long time! In my home also, I am the only one who eats marmalades.. but I make them and then keep enjoying them everyday.

    Deepa, thanks, good luck with knitting! Its so much fun.. I'll be more than happy to help you with anything! Happy knitting.

    Sonia, you are too sweet, dear! I hope you try it soon, if you like marmalades you will surely love these. I am so glad you liked both the painting and the marmalade :)

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  33. PJ,

    The marmalade looks perfect for tea, maybe on some scones :)
    As for making jams, marmalades and canning - it terrifies me. Once made a whole mess of a guava jam.But I was 16 then. You make it sound easy. Maybe I should give this recipe a try.Thanks for sharing!

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  34. hey i am a big fan of jerry yarnell too, he has one show on PBS too..would love to start it again, will do may be after sometime because i don't think right now my 2 year old will let me ..but i will try for sure..

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  35. Shwetha, I think the fact that you attempted guava jam at 16 in itself is commendable :) Try this recipe, its really easy and I'm sure you will like it if you love jams and jellies. Hmmm.. now you have got me into tasting this marmalade on some nice warm scone.. got to hunt down a scone recipe :)

    Preety, that PBS show is so good! He makes it seem so easy and creates such master-pieces! I actually bought the book after seeing the show and have been very happy with the instructions in it! Hope you get back to painting soon.. :)

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  36. Awesome clicks...Nice recipe and great painting...Great job..
    Congrats on the awards ...

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  37. Hey PJ thats such a sweet post!! I have never smelled oranges in the field before!! Marmalade looks very delicious, love the addition of cardamon and ginger!! This would go perfectly with some scones and breads!!

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  38. The orange marmalade looks so yum and the picture makes my mouth water.Thanks for visiting my blog and giveing a lovely comment.You too have a nice blog with lovely recipes.U r welcome to my blog any time.

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  39. Sarah, thanks! I am so glad you liked the painting and the recipe :)

    Parita, thanks! Yes, I agree, cardamom and ginger powder give such an edge to the plain old marmalade.. I love to enjoy it with some warm toasted breads.. in fact, I am going to make some toast right now :)

    Kitchen queen, you welcome! thanks for stopping by and I am glad you liked the orange marmalade.

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  40. first congrats for your award... second I have never seen oranges on the tree in real life, though have seen many other fruits, but now i want to see & smell that too...third painting look so beautiful.....now the last, love that marmalade, I don't make it b'cause nobody other than me likes it here.

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  41. Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have a wonderful space and am glad that we share similar passion :)
    btw Marmalade looks very inviting...I am an Orange maniac..lol, so I would definitely love this one.. I have added 'Ginger & Garlic' to my blog roll, am sure my reader is gonna smell and look great.. will keep checking your space.. good luck.

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  42. Great post and recipe! I am not a big fan of movies either and I much prefer books too!

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  43. Hi.....

    I saw your comment on Pari's blog and came to your blog.its my first time here and i must say that you have a great blog..your recipes and photos are awesome.... esp your write up makes me want to smell the orange blossom......
    Congratulations on your awards..there are truly deserving ones..you are truly a creative blogger......

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  44. Spice, thanks! Tell you what, you should visit Southern California this season and stop by some orange fields.. its the most refreshing scent ever! I am so glad you liked the marmalade, make some of it and just can it, so it will last you a long time :)

    RV, thanks! if you are an orange maniac, I am pretty sure this marmalade is for you :) Thanks for adding me to the blogroll, I look forward many more delicious recipes from you!

    Radhika, thanks! Books are so much better than the movies, right?! I am so glad you liked the post.

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  45. Hi.....
    Must add that your painting looks great...

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  46. Rujuta, thanks and welcome to my blog! I am so glad you liked the recipe, photos and the painting :)

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  47. Delicious orange marmalade. I appreciate for your wonderful presentation with mouth watering pictures.

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  48. Nice one..have joined your blog..everything looks delicious in ur blog..beautiful pictures too..

    (nithubala-recipes.blogspot.com)

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  49. Thats the best bread slice I have seen

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