I haven’t much to say today. My brain is in a bit of a fog because Thanksgiving is coming up, and Christmas, and I’m trying so hard to prepare NOW (right this second) so that I can honestly enjoy the full season. The lights! The food! The shopping!
And all this preparation is making me a little nutso, crazy. Like, on Saturday, my hubs and I went to a wedding, came home early, only to find our house clean, my mother in law visiting, and candles lit on the fireplace. Dinner was prepared (bought from the pizza joint), and my kids were happy. I made myself a cup of tea, sat down on my couch, with a book AND ACTUALLY READ IT.
And this my friends, freaked me the mess out.
THIS has been my goal. And I attained it. And it was weird.
Not sure how all this holiday happiness and togetherness will go down, if I really am prepared for the holidays starting next week.
My 7-year old keeps telling me she thinks we can keep the house clean, and is actually picking up after herself.
I guess weirder things have happened.
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Other strange things that have happened this week. . . .
My husband called me an Adonis. And I got mad because I thought he called me ‘aaaaah. Dino.” As in saur. Dinosaur. But then I realized that Adonis is a man. . .but I’m sure he must have meant Aphrodite. Surely he’s not that cruel.
Warwick bought new Christmas Lights! LED! We went to Sam’s (wholesale). . .I pointed them out. . .he examined and contemplated. . .AND THEN BOUGHT THEM ON THE SPOT. Seriously. That has never happened. I was sure it was going to be a week-long ordeal.
My house got clean. Was cleaned. I cleaned it, and it stayed clean. I may have mentioned that.
I wore a plum purple dress that was very slinky. I did not suck my stomach in. It showed more cleavage than may have been appropriate and I did not care. I owned it.
AND. . .
I found the easiest Lemon Marmalade Recipe in the World, and I made it. And this is saying A LOT, because the last time I made marmalade it took 9 1/2 hours and it sucked big time. I gave a giant jar to my father in law, and I can still see him pulling out the hard candied orange peel and sucking them down like they were worms after a storm. Love that guy for trying to like that crap I made.
Anyway, this is so not crap.
This is so LOVELY. SWEET. SLIGHTLY TANGY. PERFECTLY LEMONY.
And completely easy. Actual hands on time( prep work) was 20 minutes. This recipe was inspired from BBCgoodfood.com. It requires no peeling of the lemon before it is cooked. WHAT??? Yes, I know. Amazing.
EASIEST LEMON MARMALADE IN THE
6-7 Large Lemons, ends removed (the part that attached it to the tree)
10 cups granulated sugar
1. Place a small saucer in the freezer. We will use this later to help us figure out if the marmalade has reached the setting point.
Put the lemons in a large pot. Fill with water (about 10 cups). Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours or until the skins are completely soft and pillow-like and can be pierced easily with a fork.
2. Remove the lemons from the pot and set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, pour the cooking liquid out of the pot and measure. You’ll need 6 1/2 cups of liquid. If you don’t have enough, just add water. If you have too much, bring the liquid to boil and cook until the amount has been reduced.
3. Once the lemons are cooled, split them in half and pull out the pips (seeds). This is surprisingly easy, they’ll be in a little packet, slightly congealed and you can just pull them right out. Place all of the pips in a bowl or on a plate and reserve for later. You’ll need them to act as the pectin to help the marmalade jell.
4. Now. . .Cut the lemon peel and flesh into small strips. I like it quite thin, but you can cut it as thick or thin as you like. The lemons will be juicy and oozing out lots of goodness, make sure you save all of this. . .it all goes back into the pot. Into a small piece of muslin or cheese cloth add the lemon seeds, and tie it up with a string (I confess to using a clean stocking:)
Into the pot goes, lemons (and all the stuff they oozed out), lemon peel, lemon seeds in muslin, and 6 1/2 cups of water, and 10 cups of sugar.
Bring to a boil. Stir until all the sugar has been dissolved. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until setting point is reached. (in the bbcgoodfood.com directions they say to cook only for 20 minutes, I found this was not nearly enough time for me.) At the 20 minute mark, remove your saucer from the freezer and drop the cooking liquid onto it. Let it sit for one minute. If it wrinkles when you tilt the plate, then setting point has been reached. If not, place saucer back into freezer, continue to cook marmalade and check again in 5 minute intervals into sauce thickens and setting point is achieved.
Allow the marmalade to cool for 20 minutes before putting in jars. If you don’t allow it to cool, the heavier peels in the marmalade will sink to the bottom of the jar. Remove the muslin bag and pour marmalade into sterilized jars and seal.
Want to learn how to sterilize you jars in the microwave? Check out this post. . .Canning in the Microwave
Hey! Wait! Not so fast.