There is nothing like picking fresh fruit from a tree. I wish everyone could experience this at least once in his or her life. My family is very fortunate to have been able to pick many things from the plants themselves. We have picked wildberries up north at the little red house, which makes for some yummy jam . We picked pecans, peaches, lemons, oranges, grapefruit and even apples from trees. We have also picked fruit from cacti to make jelly with. I believe it is so important to teach our young children how to grow food and where it comes from.
A few weeks ago while visiting a relative we saw that their orange tree was packed with large navel oranges. So we picked away and promised to come back with fresh marmalade jam in a couple weeks. I have always followed the rule that if you get food from a friend or neighbor you should try to always come back with some edible treat from that food to share with them later.
That isn’t always the case though. One time some Mormon boys came to our door and even though I explained we were mostly a Catholic family they were still very polite and asked for fresh rosemary they saw growing everywhere in our front yard. I said “Of course” and headed inside to get a baggy to clip some for them. I also gave them a bag to grab some lemons from the tree as well and explained how yummy lemon chicken with rosemary is. They left very happy with fresh food right from our front yard. I did not expect them to come back with chicken for me. I was happy just at how lit up they were when I suggested they grab lemons for some yummy chicken. Sometimes it is just the gift of giving that is the reward itself.
Out here in Arizona there is never a shortage of oranges. This is one of my favorite treats. Another great treat is to mix oranges with chocolate. It doesn’t matter what type, dark or milk chocolate…it’s all yummy to me.
My Aunt is the one that loves Marmalade and since it was her tree we had to make some for her.
This was all my husband of course…I have no idea how to make marmalade. I am sure my husband thought it was funny when I gave him a look like and said “ You know how to make marmalade?” My idea of making marmalade is going to the store, buying it off the shelf and spreading it on toast, and there you have it…marmalade.
These are the ingredients you will need as told to me by my husband (who by the way makes the best homemade cinnamon rolls I have ever eaten). I guess I am hungry for a cinnamon roll. Hey, maybe my aunt would like some to go with her marmalade.
Zest of 1 lemon
31/2 cups of sugar
½ cup water
First cut oranges into 1/8 slices removing seeds as you go. Slice end pieces into 1/8 inch strips and quarter the rest. Add to sauce pan with lemon zest and water.
Slowly bring to a simmer and simmer for at least 40 minutes stirring often. While it simmers add more water if needed. When done simmering add sugar. Stir gentle to mix. When temperature in mixture reaches 227 degrees place into sterile jars.
This recipe makes 2 16oz. Jars.
Before I forget I should warn you all that making marmalade is dangerous, it gets hot and there is a lot of simmering in that heat. This is not a project for clumsy hands and little children…so I’m out, unless my husband was joking when he gave me that warning. Never hurts to be extra careful. Hope you all get a chance to pick real food from a garden and if you haven’t done so yet please find a garden or better yet grow one. Even a tiny pot on a balcony in the city will grow tomatoes, peppers or a beautiful sunflower for our bees, it’s nice to feed the bees as well.