Well, I brought home two half-pints of marmalade from last Saturday’s canning class, and by Sunday evening had managed to consume ALL of one of the jars. Yes, it’s true. I would like to say that Ben, Connor, and Ian joined me in the process, but alas, they did not. (Have you ever tried marmalade by the spoonful? You should…. it’s especially delicious mixed with vanilla ice cream!) Anyway, it became clear that the rest of our supply was not going to last long, so I decided to make some more on Monday.
I called up my good friend Jeff Sher to see if he was available to come hang out with us and photograph the day (a whole day is really what it ends up being when trying to make marmalade with a one-year-old and a three-year-old J ).  Lucky for us, Jeff was free.  Jeff is a long-time friend, former colleague, and a very talented photographer who runs a thriving photography business—Jeff Scher Photography—based here in Portland. He and I have worked together on various projects over the years, and we always have a great time. We’ve recently begun collaborating on a new series of food-related projects that I’m very excited about. The details are still in the works…..I will keep you posted as things progress. Suffice it to say, though, that you will see more of Jeff’s work on these pages in the future!
After I invited Jeff over I realized that I didn’t have all of the ingredients that I needed for the marmalade.  So, Connor, Ian and I made a mad dash to the store, and made it back just before before Jeff arrived with all his gear. Jeff set up the lights while I got Connor and Ian all ready and aproned in tall chairs at the counter, and scrounged up extra canning jars. Then we got to the big task of peeling and slicing the oranges.  Ian lost interest pretty early on, but Connor did great with this part.  I hadn’t realized previously that peeling oranges is a perfect job for a three-year-old….having eight of them to get through kept him busy for a remarkably long time!
By noon the orange pulp and peels were finally prepped, and we’d had a morning of chaotic kitchen fun, but nothing had been cooked yet.  As much time as I spend in the kitchen with my boys, I still frequently forget that any project with them takes three times as long as it otherwise would!   In any case, Jeff had to pick up his son at daycare, and Connor and Ian were ready for naps, so we took a little break.  Jeff came back late in the day so we could finish up the cooking and canning part.   My husband Ben came home from work a little early, and thankfully took over dinner preparations so that I could finish processing the jars.   And by the time we sat down to eat, there were (finally!) twelve lovely orange jars cooling on the counter.

Orange Marmalade
(Yield: approximately 14 cups. You will need about 14 half-pint jars for canning this recipe.)
Note: Before beginning, make calcium water per the directions in the Pomona’s pectin package.  Set aside for later use.
8 oranges and 1 grapefruit (enough to total 12 cups of cooked fruit)
6 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cups of sugar
9 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder
6 teaspoons calcium water
  1. Thoroughly wash 1 grapefruit and 8 oranges. Then peel, seed, remove membrane, and finely chop the flesh of the fruit.
  2. Scrape off the white part, and then thinly slice the peel of 4 of the oranges. Discard the other peels.
  3. Bring fruit and sliced peels to a boil with 6 cups of water. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat. Measure 12 cups of the cooked fruit, and combine in a sauce pan with the lemon juice.
  5. Add 6 teaspoons of calcium water from jar into pan; stir well.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine 5 cups of sugar and 9 teaspoons of pectin powder. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Bring fruit to a boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture; stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat.
  8. Fill jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Return to a rolling boil, and then boil for 10 mins. Remove jars from water.
  9. Let jars cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours, then check to be sure that jars have sealed.  Enjoy!

All photos in this post © Jeff Sher