iPhone camera + being in a hurry = blurry photo
What? You don't LOVE marmalade? It's okay. I didn't like it the first 5 times I tried it either. I don't think I liked it until I was about 25 really.
I'm going to admit it: once in a while, I eat commercially-made preserves. I have to tell it to you straight. I have been known to eat and actually enjoy the mass-produced stuff now & then.
Yes, I lovingly craft my own preserves in small batches, using my favorite French copper preserving pans. I do it with genuine appreciation for the fruit I am using, which is hand-chosen, farm-fresh and organic whenever possible.
I like to think that the best preserves are the ones made in a cozy kitchen that is dappled with golden sunlight. That right outside the kitchen window are the sounds of cheerful birds chirping. In the distance, children are laughing as they run after the ice cream truck. The person who gently stirs the preserves is wearing a cute eyelet-lace-trimmed apron -- a gift from her warmhearted mother-in-law. The sterilized jars waiting to be filled are all WECK brand. The adorable Pugs snoozing on a nearby rug are both house-broken. (This is the part where you hear the screeching sound of the phonograph needle being dragged backwards over the record album.) Wouldn't that scenario be lovely? Not always realistic though!
I have hardly been home for the past 2 or 3 weeks, so lately I have found myself at a table in a restaurant or diner for breakfast, staring down an assortment of commercially-produced jam. I'm not going to be a snob about it. I think products like Knott's Berry Farm Orange Marmalade might have stirred within me the desire to start preserving as a child. My mom never bought orange marmalade, but my favorite color is orange, so naturally I am drawn to all things orange; color & flavor-wise. I remember the first time I tried orange marmalade. I hated it. Thank goodness I eventually came to my senses.
When toast is part of my breakfast -- especially the incredible toasted sourdough slabs at The Original Pantry Cafe in LA -- I reach for a little plastic packet of jam or jelly, peel back the foil and realize that I'm hopelessly addicted to fruit that's been cooked with sugar, whether it is made my the pint or by the pallet.
Now I make marmalade from Limes, Meyer Lemons, Grapefruits, Seville Oranges, Blood Oranges, Cara Cara oranges, and Kumquats. No, not all at once, but now that I think about it, it might not be such a bad combination!