This picture represents my ‘orange’ journey. So far, you’ve seen candied orange peel (in the middle pint) and orange marmalade (the squat half-pint). Last night, I explored raw packing the oranges which is represented in the front jar, peeled oranges in a light syrup. The empty canning jar in the picture signifies there may be more to come :-)
Writing this reminded me of the 70’s — my father had a CB radio in our truck and we played with it on road trips to listen to truckers. Each member of our family had a ‘handle’, a nickname used on the CB. My nickname was lovingly ‘half-pint’, as I am the youngest of two boys (and somewhat ‘squat’).
Well, yesterday half-pint marched his butt (and aching back) to the hardware store to buy more canning supplies. I reached the aisle and noticed two older and somewhat rough-and-tumble looking men standing smack dab in front of the canning supplies. It looked like they weren’t going to move, so I politely nudged myself up to the shelves.
One of them looked at me and asked what I was going to do with the jars, “are you gonna do the thing with the gas?”. I innocently replied, “oh no, I’m going to make marmalade.” As soon as the words left my lips, I knew I had said the wrong thing. It was as though I had ordered a Shirley Temple at a biker bar. He scoffed, gave me a sneer, and they both walked away mumbling something to each other. I was left wondering what they planned to do with the jars and how it involved ‘gas’. Clearly, they were not marmalade lovers.
Unfortunately, I mustn’t be the only canner in our area or maybe my post the other day let people know where to find the cute little Ball Elite Platinum jars, because they no longer in stock. They did have 1 pack of the small 8oz. jars, but I wanted to try the 16oz. jars (which they did have the other day). I settled for the standard issue pints and left before the big burly men returned with more questions.
Once again, I used the UC Davis publication on how to preserve oranges (PDF) and followed the instructions for raw packing. I forgot to count how many oranges I used, somewhere around a dozen or so. You simply peel and remove the white pith/seeds. You can use water or varying strengths of a simple syrup and I opted to use a 15% solution to ensure everything came out of the jar sweet.
They look beautiful — I’ve never had oranges prepared this way and am curious how they will taste once opened. I will likely sacrifice one jar this week to find out.