Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Fluffy Muffin

I've been on somewhat of a baking rampage lately.  I blame it on the 99¢ blueberries that Sprouts had last week.  We bought six of them, and while some of them were eaten the second they were washed, most of them ended up in muffins.
I actually made two batches, as the first batch, according to Scott, wasn't blueberry-y enough; he said he likes them to barely hold together because of the amount of berries, and I have to say that I rather agree.  I used my friend Katie's A-Z bread recipe and then modified it thus:

  • I did a half-and-half approach to flour, using both AP and WW.
  • I cut the sugar by half.
  • I used a cup and a half of plain yogurt instead of oil
  • I added some cinnamon
  • And of course, I used blueberries as the fruit, but I threw in three pints (plus a few more that were left) into the DRY ingredients - I learned that trick from Alton Brown.

I used a whole milk yogurt - the more fat used in a recipe, the lighter and fluffier you will get.  If you are concerned about fat content (hey, I'm running a 10K this weekend, so I'm allowed some fatty goodness, right????), you can of course sub using a lower fat yogurt or even applesauce, while will help keep the pastry with a proper level of liquid, but it won't be as fluffy.
Now, when I had made the first batch, Her Royal Highness had yummed away at one, so I decided that the second batch would have some mini muffins, more her size.  Of course, now she is turning up her nose at them, stinker that she is.  I'm also finishing up some chocolate muffins as I type, which is made from a recipe that uses a honey instead of sugar and other healthier stuff to made it delectable AND fairly good for her (at least better than that other crap you can get in cookies at the store - you know, the unpronounceable stuff).  Since I didn't have enough mini muffin tins for the entire batch, I HAD to make a dozen regular sized, which I suppose I'll have to choke down myself... c'est la vie, right?

A sweet AND savory breakfast - just what I have been looking for!
Not a Dusty muffin at all.
I also made my FAVORITE oatmeal cookies last weekend.  Now, I don't usually like oatmeal cookies.  The sweetness of them is usually cloying, and I end up feeling gross after just one.  But when I was nursing, I was looking for ways to improve the amount of milk I was producing, and I read in many places that oatmeal helps.  Well, one can only eat so much oatmeal, and a search for an edible cookie produced one from Cooking Light magazine.  However, the reviews noted, again and again, that it was a rather bland end product, so after some time and energy, I modified it and came up with what I think is a winning recipe:

Dried Fruit and Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1 c assorted dried fruit
  • 1/2 c freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 c sugar (brown, white, or raw - doesn't matter)
  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, softened)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 c flour (I use a combo of WW and AP)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 c regular (rolled) oats
  • 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon (to taste)
  • The zest of that freshly squeezed orange

Challenge accepted!
Preheat oven to 375.  Combine fruit and orange juice in a bowl and set aside (note - when I say 1 cup of fruit, I take it as a personal challenge to see how much fruit I actually can get into that 1/2 cup of orange juice - the more fruit, the tastier the cookie will be, IMO).
Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and honey until combined, then stir in fruit/juice mixture and zest
Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl, whisking well.  Add the oats and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to mix thoroughly.
Drop onto greased cookie sheets with tablespoons.  bake for about 8 minutes, until nearly done.  Cool completely on wire cooling rack.

These are great for any time of the day - they are filled with good things and have less sugar than a commercial breakfast bar.  Alas, HRH still prefers those commercial bars over these guys, so I guess I have yet to find that tasty but healthy snack.  I tried making homemade vanilla wafers today in order to sneak in a little flax.... so far they look like a bust, but we'll see what she thinks after her nap.

I almost forgot to take a picture before I ate them all!
This week I have got to get moving on making lots of stuff with leafy greens - we got green leaf lettuce, spinach, collards, and kale, so you know my iron count is going to go through the roof, which is great, as I am hoping to give blood on the 12th.
Finally, because it never gets old, I give you Betty White as Florence Dusty.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reason to Buy Local/Seasonal #2

This weekend has been great, and we're only halfway through!  Local businesses are to thank for my positive outlook.
Last night (Friday), we went and met some friends at a local sports bar/restaurant that they like.  It's just OK as far as food goes, IMHO, but it is right next door to Run AZ, where I have been hoping to go since London's Run for some new running shoes.
I was first turned on to Run AZ, which has two locations (one in Gilbert and the other in Ahwatukee), by a friend of mine when I was looking for new hiking shoes.  He suggested I go there, as they would find me shoes that worked with my feet and stride.  I know that some stores put people on a treadmill and all that business, but not at Run AZ.  When asked, the staff will tell you that the treadmill test only is helpful if you only run on a treadmill.  However, they can pretty much take a quick look at you in your stocking feet (I had to apologize for not shaving, as I had to roll up my pants past my calves) and then another of you walking, and they can find shoes that work for your arch, the amount you pronate, etc.
I tried on a pair of Saucony®, which is what I wore when I ran track in high school (so, so many years ago now), a pair of Asics®, and two pairs of Nike®.  While I liked the Saucony® shoes (the first pair I tried on), I loved one of the pairs of Nike®, which actually kind of surprised me.
Already put my Nike® iPod sensor thingy on it - ready to run!
I also picked up a new running shirt - blue, to help me "celebrate" Colon Cancer Awareness Month (March).
While I would have gone to Run AZ anyway, I was even more pleased to have a coupon that had come with my "bag o' shwag" from London's Run, so I managed to make the trip for under $100 - pretty exciting.
Zooey and I went for an inaugural run with them this morning, and it was great except for the fact that my iPod died three songs in, and since I can't stand running without music, I made it a 3.5 miler instead of a 5.5 miler.  I'll be charging the PowPod tonight so we can take our last long run before Run for Ryan House next Saturday.
Not that I was sad to cut the run short.  Earlier this week, Wildflower Bread Company held a Facebook/Twitter haiku contest.  The winner received free pancakes.  Well, being an English teacher/total nerd who used to hold poetry slams in class, I had to enter.  Guess what - I WON!!!!!!!!
Here was my winning entry:

Sweet, fluffy mouthful
burgeoning maple or fruit;
total satisfaction

They're soooooo fluffay!
So, after we picked up our veggies this morning, we headed over to the Chandler Mall so I could hork down some lemon ricotta goodness, served with some warm blueberry compote (delicious combo with the maple syrup and lemony pancake).  Scott tried their new brisket beef sandwich, and HRH took down some more bacon and fruit, washing it all down with milk.
Both Run AZ and Wildflower Bread Company clearly appreciate their customers and their community, whether that is shown by finding the right shoe for each customer or giving away free meals in a fun way.  Not that national chains aren't appreciative of their clientele, I'm sure, although the way McDonald's® has handled what I like to call its oatmeal kerfuffle doesn't really show that it has interest in being HONEST to its customers, something that I also find important.  But these two local businesses, as well as many others, can best interact with and respond to its clientele in a way that McDonald's® only can by supposing that Wisconsonites might enjoy the McBrat.

Reason to buy local/seasonal #2 - they clearly value and respect their customers!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hangar-ing Out

The weather in Arizona this weekend can only be described as dreary.  Not the Edgar Allen Poe despondent kind of dreary, but gray and damp dreary.  Of course, it's right when I wanted to kick the running training back in gear to prep for my next 10K (stay tuned) as well as Pat's Run.
Instead, I got up too early, especially after a night spent mostly awake with a sick toddler and two animals who are currently BOTH at the top of my "list" and didn't want to do anything but make and drink a boatload of coffee.
So when Scott suggested we go to breakfast after he walked the naughty coonhound (I caught her eating my dinner off the counter last night), I was game.
We went to the Hangar Cafe at the Chandler Municipal Airport, only a few minutes from the house.  I didn't even know that the little airport had a restaurant, but the prospect of HRH being entertained by the airplanes while we dined on greasy spoon fare was too good to turn down.
Heavenly hash
Holy smokes - it was PACKED!  Seriously, this place is out of the way, and there are no signs on the major roads advertising it, but there was a wait out the door by the time we got there.
Scott informed me that the Hangar Hash (corned beef) was good, and I have a weakness for it, so I didn't look further, while Scott had the chicken fried steak.  HRH, who was more interested in trying to go potty seven times than airplanes (and with the weather, there weren't really many airplanes to watch anyway), is still not much of an eater, so we ordered an à la carte breakfast for her - fruit salad and bacon.
Remains of the day
There is a reason this place was the proverbial sardine cliché.  The food was good food.  Nothing fancy, but good and filling.  The Hangar Hash came with an overgenerous portion of crispy has browns and eggs that were perfectly over medium as well as some pretty tasty sourdough.  Scott announced that the gravy on the steak was "really good," and it was difficult not to steal a bite.  I have already made it a mental goal to master sausage gravy, but that plate made me reaffirm that I need to do this soon.  Oh, and the diva - she ate ALL her bacon (save the portion that she choked on in her eagerness to jam an entire rasher in her mouth) and put a pretty big dent in the fruit salad, which was the size of her head.
Hopefully we can go again when the weather is once again Arizona perfect, although I kind of want to go back tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Living La Vida Local

This weekend, I had to go to the store, and I made the trek to the nearest Basha's.  There used to be one within walking distance (well, not in July), but it was one of the stores that was closed during the bankruptcy.
It just so happens that the intersection where this other Basha's is located is under construction.  And what I mean by "under construction" is "complete and total cluster-rhymes-with-cluck."  It's torn up in all directions to be repaved and (I think) widened - chaos, to say the least.
To get there, I pass a Safeway.  And there is another Safeway not far from the house as well.  But still, I went to Basha's that day.
I have to be honest - I'm not always in love with the store.  It doesn't carry the brand of yogurt I buy for Olivia (I get it at Sprouts, thankfully), and there have been occasions when I wasn't able to find something else that I thought should be fairly common, too.  But I go back there, as I have found the service good and am able to find items that I know I will never find at Sprouts (for canning, etc.).  Call it habit, muscle memory, whatever.
When I checked out, I asked the clerk if the construction had affected the store's business (it's in a strip mall that also has a pretty darn good gyro place, a Peter Piper Pizza, and a PetCo).  She said, "Oh yeah.  A lot.  You have to want to come here."  When I mentioned, almost to myself, that I make the effort, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "We really do appreciate it" with the most sincere gratitude I have ever heard in anyone in sales.
When I got home, I asked Scott, who, having a degree in economics, knows a thing or two more about this than I.  He told me that businesses can lose up to 60% of their business when there is construction.  That amazed me.  I knew that the store traffic was down, but I hadn't imagined that it could drop by such an amount.
While I have been working to buy from more local businesses (I am in awe of the pledge made by the Levitch Family), this information really made me take a good hard think of where I buy my items.  If my choice to bypass two national stores (the Safeways) to go to the local store makes a difference in my community, it will be worth it.  I'm just so glad that PetSmart is a local business!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peanuuuuuuut... Peanut Butter!

One of three
As I was hunched in front of the fridge hiding from my daughter this evening, pouring chocolate syrup over the spoonful of peanut butter, I noticed that we were almost out.  SITUATION CRITICAL!
We love peanut butter in this house.  It is always in stock, and the dog has her own jar that is used solely for Kong® stuffing purposes when we leave the house.  It is not good to be out of peanut butter.
Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about an outage for long - last month, I read how easy it was to make peanut butter at one of my favorite blogs, Kath Eats.  And apparently I thought ahead, as I decided to buy a boatload of peanuts a few weeks ago, just for this project.
whir, whir, whir...
Thus, after Her Royal Highness was tucked snugly into her bed, I took Julia (my Cuisinart®) out of the cupboard and got her ready to go.
Uh, a little note - I would not recommend using Spanish peanuts.  There isn't much difference between these peanuts and what might be labeled as dry roasted peanuts, but they have the skins on.  I am not sure how the skins would affect the taste and/or texture of the finished PB, but I didn't want to find out, so I relieved those little guys of their jackets.
I got a little nervous as the crushed peanuts started bunching up on one side, but I persevered, stopping every few minutes to scrape everything down and to even out the mixture.  Finally (seriously, it was like forever), the peanuts went from crushed mess to smooth, creamy yumminess.  I added kosher salt and my homemade vanilla extract, gave Julia another spin, and had... peanut butter (read those last two words in an awed whisper).
I couldn't wait - I threw a few slices of the bread I made this weekend into the toaster and waited impatiently to slather them up (isn't slather the most lovely word) and hork them down.
The result - definitely doing this again.  And again.  And again.

Homemade from base to top!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

From London to Dakota - Saving the World

This weekend I was fortunate to run in another 5K for a great cause; Dakota's Run was sponsored by the local FCA and held at my friend Veronica's church.  This run raised money for a little girl who is fighting leukemia.  Early Saturday morning, HRH and I got in the car, picked up Veronica, and went to church!
This was my first real experience using the jogging stroller.  Um, wow.  Totally harder than it looks, although when you think that I was pushing a contraption that weighs about 10 pounds (-ish?) and had in said contraption a 27-pound Wee One, that puts things into perspective.  My time was a great deal slower than my inaugural run at the Undy 5000, although part of that was the four small stops we made because HRH needed... well, something, I don't know - you know how toddlers get.
But I can't complain; one woman, Dakota's mother, actually, was pushing a double jogging stroller!  Two kids!  Including Dakota, who is 4 years old!  So not only am I not able to complain about my precocious little girl insisting she was "all done outside" before we even hit the halfway marker, I am not able to complain about the additional weight I was lugging around.  Again, I am so fortunate to have health for myself and for my child.  As we ran together for part of the way, I learned that Dakota's mom has run in 6 half marathons in the past year.  All I can say is WOW.  What an amazing woman.
It was a great way to begin the weekend, and I hope that the crowd that gathered in orange (the color that represents the fight against leukemia) helped offset the family's medical costs and give them hope that they have a large and loving support group no matter what.
After an exhilarating and exhausting morning that also included a lavender lemonade for me when I grabbed our weekly veggies, we went out to dinner.  We do not celebrate Valentines' Day in a traditional manner; instead, each year we have dinner with friends.  This started about ten years ago; a large group of us made it a "date."  This year, there were two of the original five couples.  HRH spent the night at Nana's house, so it was actually a real date for us.  We had dinner (sushi - sorry, no pics - we were too excited to eat it, but maybe next time) and a movie (The King's Speech - amazing).  While I know there will always be a market for random chocolates in cardboard boxes shaped like hearts, I don't need a requisite day for my husband and I to offer rhyming sentiments to one another.  But it's always great to go out to dinner in the company of great friends.
Other than that, bread and pectin were on the agenda for the day today.  I have a new basic bread recipe from my friend Christie that makes three loaves, so I'll be using that to experiment with fun flavors (she keeps telling me to stop kneading by hand, though, and I'm just not sure I want to give up that exercise!).   This time I used half bread flour and half whole wheat flour.  There are still a few slices left in the plain loaf I made last weekend, so I have to wait and see how it turned out, which might actually be a boon.  We are nearly out of peanut butter, and I happened across a recipe for homemade, so I am already slobbering over the thought of homemade bread topped with homemade peanut butter and homemade lemon marmalade.
I was told that the finished
product looks like a urine
sample; I don't want to alarm
anyone who looks in my
And the pectin - I am really excited to have discovered the website Punk Domestics!  While dinking around on it, I came across this recipe for homemade pectin (OK, so not really recipe, as it's not that involved, but still - and there are other recipes for lemons on that link), and I was delighted to also learn that I can freeze it.  I'm planning on taking full advantage of the Schnepf Farms U-Pick orchards during peach season, so I am envisioning a shelf full of glistening orange jars.  But I digress.  Making the pectin was a perfect way for me to start using those leftover pithy parts from our limoncello project.  I've frozen the remaining rinds and plan to make more pectin as I need it.  What a great way to 1) cut down on waste (I used those lemons three ways!) and 2) cut one more item off the shopping list; pectin certainly isn't that expensive, but if I can make it from rinds and water instead, I've got that money still in the bank.  I just really wish I could find a use for rinds after that - it's really not good to compost that many rinds (too much acid).

Here are a few photos from this weekend's projects.

Before I peel an orange, I'm starting to zest and dry/save it.
The lemon zest - at least thus far - has come from a few lemons
I had to juice to finish off the preserved lemon jars.

Pork chops with a cinnamon-cumin rub on top of a
potato-daikon radish hash and topped with the
rhubarb-lemon-chile preserve as well as chopped
pineapple and oranges
This weekend was also tinged with some sadness; I learned today that one of the two benefactors of this year's London's Run, Breanna Pena, passed away late last week.  One of my co-workers received the news from her son's school, where Breanna went last year.  I am struck at the loss of a child whom I never had the opportunity to meet, and I grieve with those who loved her.  Like Dakota, London, and the other children who fight all forms of cancer each day, Breanna will serve as a reminder that I have an absolute duty to help fight and defeat this disease.  May Breanna be at peace.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When a Friend of Yours Gives You a Bazillion Lemons, Part IV

I actually shipped off some of my precious, precious lemons (and grapefruit) to three of my friends earlier this week, so I am running low and may need to go steal some more off Danielle's tree (pretty sure she'll let me).  I'm looking forward to finding out what they make!
Last night, I decided to preserve some of the lemons I have left.  Preserving lemons is pretty simple.  The secret ingredient is salt.  No, really - you take kosher (or sea) salt and lemons that have been scrubbed clean, and stick them in a sterilized jar... voilà!  Preserved lemons!
OK, there is a bit of a process.  First, cover the bottom of the jar (I would not recommend pint jars like I used - still too small) with salt.

Helloooooo, in there!
Then, take your lemon and cut off the stem and the little bump/nub at the other end.  Slice them nearly in half; turn 90 degrees and repeat; what you'll have a lemon that is almost cut into quarters, but it's still all attached.  Do this to all your lemons (duh).
Confession - I did accidentally slice all the way through two of my lemons.  I totally squeezed them together and pretended I didn't and then shoved them into a jar where there wasn't enough room to tell the difference anyway.

(Miss Piggy impersonation)
Pack a bunch of salt into the lemon - a tablespoonish amount appears to be the norm for recipes you'll find online.
Once finished, shove the lemon into the jar and repeat the process, adding a layer of the salt between each layer of lemon.  You may have to really truly shove at the end to get everything in.  End with a final layer of salt.

Clearly that lemon was too big.
Got it in there anyway, like the ship in a bottle.
Now, in Morocco, different spices are added, and I would love to add a little cinnamon and whatnot into some jars next time (read: when I can get some bigger jars and a few more lemons) to see what flavors I end up with.
Regardless of the different spices that may or may not be added to the jar before sealing, once the jars are sealed, they can be left on the counter (where you can't forget them) for two or three days.  Every time you go into the kitchen, give the jars a little shake.  This helps spread around the salt AND get those juices flowing (it's helpful to have juicy lemons - look for lemons that are heavy for their size; that means they have a lot of juice - same goes for any citrus).

Mmmmm.... briny....
After three days, the lemons should be completely submerged in their juice.  If not, add more from another jar or another lemon that has been relieved of its zest for another tasty endeavor.  Then, throw them in the back of the fridge, where they need to "age" at least three weeks before using.
I am not completely certain what I will use these lemons in, but I'm thinking a salad would be nice as well as perhaps a fruited couscous or even add an accompaniment to fish... as well as perhaps snacking on them right out of the jar (once properly rinsed, of course).
I'm also thinking about what I could do with the brine.  It will be more acidic than your run of the mill brine made with water, but I would hate to just pour it down the drain.  At first I thought of having a salty dog party, but those are with grapefruit, and THOSE certainly won't fit into pint jars!
Any suggestions???

Seriously, I think one of the best things about working with lemons is their cheery color.
I would love seeing these on my shelves were I living in the frozen North.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scope it Out

I have changed the subtitle of this little blog of mine to better reflect what I realize I will be considering in my words.  While originally, I had planned to keep an online journal of what our family is eating, I can't just discuss the food we put in our mouths in a complete vacuum.  What I put on the table is linked to the runs I take after dinner and the actions I (try to) take on a regular basis.  And were it not for my desire to behave more sustainably than we have, I wouldn't have even take up with our darling CSA.
So I'm officially expanding the scope of DPSTW to include my rantings on compassionate acts (expect several about the charitable running events I've planned out for the year), new discoveries on how to reduce waste (not just table scraps), and being more healthy overall, from organic and local broccoli (which we roasted this evening for dinner) to making my own shampoo/conditioner (really - I'm intrigued).
Honestly, the more I started being conscious of what I put in my mouth, I started thinking that I had to be more conscious of the other things that I do.  No, I'm not planning on living off the grid any time soon; there are a few indulges without which I can't live (think Princess Vespa in Spaceballs), but that doesn't mean I can't pare down for the good of the order.
Thus, this month I'll be reworking my objectives to make them more sensible to my new intent, although I haven't forgotten about my February goal of flossing daily.  It took me a few days to get into it; I realized we were out of floss, and I had to get myself to the store (this time I went to Basha's rather than Target) to buy some.  I am doing pretty well, although as I type this I realize that I DID forget to take my daily vitamin.  But hey - it's not January anymore, right?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When a Friend of Yours Gives You a Bazillion Lemons, Part III

Finally, I was successful in getting good-tasting marmalade to set!
It's still a little more liquid than I'd like it to be, but after a taste test (on some freshly baked bread), I determined that this batch - #3 of lemon, #4 overall - is going to count as real lemon marmalade and NOT a failed attempt.
Of course, since we still have lemons, I'll be tweaking things in a fifth go around.  But, basically, I used this recipe as my starting point, modifying from what I've learned in previous attempts:

  • Instead of letting the lemons and water sit overnight, I had them sit for four nights (it was supposed to be three, but I went out with a friend last night), changing the water each night.  This is in a similar vein to what one would do in order to candy lemon peel, although I didn't boil the lemons.
  • I added an extra cup of sugar to the ratio; I had 8 cups of the lemon-water combo, so I had nine cups of sugar.
  • The recipe didn't call to have a cheesecloth with the piths and seeds, but I did include this in order to increase the amount of pectin; this was mostly due to my terror of yet another batch not setting up.

Next time, I need to cut the lemons into fourths rather than half, as the rinds were a little long.  But overall, I am extremely pleased with the outcome; I have never been a fan of marmalade, but right now, I am trying to decide how many half-pint jars I can justify keeping.

Freshly baked bread slathered with butter and marmalade:
I can't really think of a better dessert.

Left to right:
lemon marmalade,
grapefruit syrup,
rhubarb lemon chile preserve
So far, I've been able to make the lemon marmalade, the grapefruit marmalade-come-syrup, and a rhubarb lemon chile preserve that is going to be awesome with cheese and crackers.  I also started the process of making limoncello, which will net the results in about three more months, and I tried to make that Shaker lemon pie; I would be willing to give that a second go.  I still have plans to make lemon curd with scones and some preserved lemons.  And what about the grapefruit?  I'm thinking candied peels with the remains from some tasty breakfast sides.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventures in Marmalade Setting

You might think that I'm cheating on the title so I don't have to give a recipe.  But the joke's on you!  This post is about GRAPEFRUIT!
Yep, I decided to try grapefruit marmalade.  Even tart grapefruit is sweeter than lemons, right?  So it can't be that hard to screw up, right?
I found what I thought would be a pretty fail-safe recipe (clearly, I am Einstein's definition of insanity, right?).  The most difficult part of it, really, was removing the pith.  Grapefruits have a s*** ton of pith, by the way, in case you were curious, and it took a good long time to scrape it all off but keep the peels in tact.
The biggest difference between a marmalade and a jam (yes, I totally looked it up) is that marmalades don't use an "outside" gelling agent (like Sure-Jell®).  All the pectin is found in the fruit; marmalades generally use citrus, and in fact the pectin that is used to make store-bought pectins generally comes from a type of lime (fun fact of the day, right?).
Thanks to our limoncello making party, I had an entire gallon sized zip top bag filled with pithy lemon rinds, so I tossed those into a cheesecloth bag while my concoction of grapefruit, grapefruit juice, grapefruit peel, water, and sugar boiled away to ensure a lovely spread buddy for my peanut butter.
After the allotted 30 or so minutes, I started gel testing with the saucers I had frozen the night before (when I started the process - it would seem that most marmalades are a multi-day project).
What a gorgeous color, though
First saucer - runny.
Second saucer - runny.  I put the first saucer back in, just in case I needed it.
Third saucer - runny.  I put the second saucer back in the freezer, too.
Fourth saucer that was really the first saucer used again - runny.
Fifth... second saucer - runny.
I was now at over 45 minutes AND, of course, HRH decided to take a really short nap (even though she was sick and needed a good long sleep), so I did what I could, but at some point, I had to jar this stuff.
So I did, hoping against hope that, like gravy, it would "thicken as it cooled."
No dice.
For the count, that would be three marmalade batches that turned out less than expected.
However, at least I got the taste down on this one.  I think.  I mean, basically, what I have is... grapefruit syrup.
Not bad with over vanilla
with some cashews, too
So I did what any self-respecting wannabe home chef who has failed at all marmalade attempts would do: I had ice cream.
I think it's good, but I'm not sure how it's SUPPOSED to taste.
Fortunately, I was able to see our friend Ellen for coffee this morning, and I gave her a jar.  I did tell her that I wasn't totally certain of it's tastiness factor and to be honest with me (and to pour it down the sink if it really is flat terrible).
I have a few more friends who, I hope, will be willing guinea pigs for this.  Who knows - perhaps this is going to be the best waffle topping since peanut butter and maple syrup.
But I have another batch of lemons waiting to try their turn even as I type this.