Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lemon Marmalade

My mother-in-law is in town and she brought us tons of lemons from her lemon tree!  I didn't want them to spoil before I could use them so I've been busy.  This past week I've made lemon bars and candied lemons.  Today I made lemon marmalade.  I absolutely love marmalade but have never had a lemon version before.  When I looked around for recipes most call for Meyer lemons which these are not.  I finally found this recipe at and went for it.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 55 minutes
Yields: 3 pints

10 large lemons
4 cups water
4 cups sugar

Using a vegetable peeler, remove yellow part of peel in strips from lemons.  Cut stripes into 1-by 1/8- inch strips.  With knife, cut off all white membrane, or pith, from peeled lemons.

Cut peeled lemons crosswise into 1/4- inch thick slices.  In heavy non-aluminum 5-quart kettle combine lemon peel, sliced fruit and water.  Cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

Heat lemon mixture to boiling over high heat, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lemon mixture is very soft, about 1 hour.

Add sugar to lemon mixture and increase heat to medium-high.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Heat to boiling and reduce heat just so mixture boils gently.  Boil uncovered, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 220 degrees F., 45 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare three 1-pint canning jars with their lids and bands for processing following manufacturer's directions.  Spoon marmalade into hot jars, leaving 1/4- inch space at top of jars.

Wipe jar rims clean.  Seal with lids and bands.  Process jars in boiling water bath 15 minutes.  Cool jars on wire rack.  Store in cool, dry place.  Refrigerate after opening.

Let me share some notes and observations I made while making this.

  • 25 minute prep time my butt!  Peeling and slicing all those lemons took at least an hour to do.
  • I used 9 lemons and one orange.  No reason, just because I felt like it.
  • I didn't refrigerate my lemons in the water bath (no room!).  Just used cold water and kept it on the counter for 3 hours.
  • After I added the sugar, my marmalade never reached 220 degrees.  It stayed at 210 for an hour.  Around that time, the consistency was jelly-like so I called it good and ladled it into the jars regardless.  Turns out it was fine.  My marmalade is the perfect thickness.
  • This yielded slightly more than 2 pints for me not 3.
  • This is an awesome marmalade!  My husband used the word 'rich' to describe it.  It's definitely not a marmalade for the weak-hearted.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Valley Girl Swap

I got my package today!  My favorite Ravelry group Knit Knack had a swap! We picked a movie or TV show that we wanted our package to be themed about.  You can read about the Hedwig and the Angry Inch package I made for Amber here.  I chose the movie Valley Girl!

Georgia got me and did an awesome job with my theme!  She included two packages with movie quotes on them.  "Gag me with a spoon!" and "It's like sushi, ya know?"  Inside was a sewn spoon and a sushi toilet paper cozy!!  Hilarious!

She sent hot pink neon yarn and knit me a fabulous 80s inspired cowl.  Also she sent some jelly bracelets and a friendship bracelet.  So great!

Of course I had to put my hair in a side ponytail for the photo.

And a temporary tattoo!

She also sent some nail polish from Zoya!!  Midori and Kissy!  You all know how much I love my nail polish!  She included emery boards in a matchbook!  So cool!  I've never seen anything like that before.

Dark chocolate!

And she sent some things from her Dio de los Muertos shop!  A chicken toy for my kids.  My son Bailey is totally mesmerized by it.

And a Day of the Dead candle boat!  So cool!  I can't wait to try it out with the kids.  Click this link to see a video on how it works.

Thanks so much Georgia for everything!  I love it all!  Totally!  Like for sure!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Swap

Once again, my favorite Ravelry group had a knitting swap.  This time, it was movie themed.  We all picked what movie we wanted our package to be created around.  I got Amber and she chose Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  What a great movie to pull inspiration from!

I knit her the Charlize shawl.  I've knit it before and it's a great pattern!  I saw at one point during the movie Hedwig wore a black shawl that was lacy.  Perfect!  The yarn I chose has actual silver spun into it.  The best part of this shawl?  When you lay it flat it looks like Hedwig's hair!

Name: Hedwig Hair
Pattern: Charlize by Vanessa Smith
Yarn: Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver
Colorway: Black
Yards: 420
See more photos and notes on my Ravelry page.

Knit Knack's mascot is Helen, an owl.  I borrowed some felt from my friend Katie and made Amber a Hedwig Owl!

I also crocheted her a flower brooch with cassette tape.  So rock and roll!

I made her crazy glittery fingernail polish inspired by Hedwig's amazing make-up.

I dyed her yarn inspired by Hedwig's hair.

Lastly, I sent some candy.  If you've seen the movie then you know the significance of gummy bears, sugar daddy and German chocolate- with nuts!

Stay tuned to see what my buddy sent me!  My theme was the movie Valley Girl.  Can't wait!