I have been making marmalade for about nine years now. I know how to make marmalade and I do it very well, even if I do say so myself!
However, these last two attempts have been an unmitigated disaster and disasters rarely happen to me in the kitchen. Slight little boo boo’s yes, but no epic disasters.
I do of course have to mention, that both these batches were a slightly new recipe that I’ve been playing with and it involves whiskey. J&B whiskey to be exact…an ironic ode to my late dad.
Anyway, batch number one and I’m juicing, chopping, peeling, straining, boiling, filling and oh my goodness the end result is dinkum delicious! I don’t partake of the fiery spirits, but even I would slather this whiskey marmalade all over my toast. It had that strong fruity taste, the perfect mix of sweet and bitter and a healthy hint of whiskey. Delicious!!! I finish the whole process and take my little chopper/jooger thingy to the sink to start the clean up process. While I’m cleaning the chopper/jooger bowl, I notice that the little hard plastic ring that keeps the blades in place is shattered and completely non-existent. You know that feeling of absolute dread…well I had it buckets…great big buckets of sticky boozy marmalade…all mocking me from their shiny little bottles beautifully cooling on my counter.
So I open a bottle, dip my spoon in and lo and behold out comes a tiny piece of cement hard plastic.
I don’t think I have ever felt so shattered in my life; my kitchen life that is. So here I have about 12 bottles of the most beautifully delicious Orange and Whiskey Marmalade and I can’t do jack with it.
Then yesterday, I decide to once again tackle this boozy marmalade; and you know what? It was a frikken fiasco from start to finish. There was not enough juice in the fruit and only two pips from the entire patch of oranges! It over boiled so I had this lava like sticky drunk mess draping itself all over my stove top. Marmalade gets bottled while it is still piping hot, and yup, I got more on the floor and down the sides of the bottles than I got into them and burnt my hands more times than I care to remember.
And it tasted and looked horrible. A pale anaemic boozy sugar jelly with a hint of orange. Blegh!!!
But then, when I think back to yesterday, my morning started with me knocking my coffee mug off my beside table.
I really should have stayed in bed yesterday.