harsh lessons

I’ve been learning a lot of lessons lately.  I’m realizing that for the most part lessons are a bit painful.  Some are lessons that I learn by working in a new arena.  Some lessons are a result of carelessness and forgetting earlier lessons.  A recent baking experiment came about as a part of the latter.

I am trying to make some basic staples and some new recipes that will teach me new techniques.  This evening I was baking some breakfast treats.  Buttermilk Biscuits and Orange Marmalade.
buttermilk biscuits-004
The biscuits were really easy but not as tasty as the ones I made a few weeks ago.  Can’t win them all!  Also, I did not learn my lesson.  I made these biscuits too small, I need to stop rolling the dough out so small!
buttermilk biscuits-006
The marmalade, on the other hand, taught me a valuable lesson.  The first lesson that I learned was that jams, jellies and marmalades are made in bulk for a reason.  They are really time intensive!  Between sanitizing the jars, peeling the oranges and lemons and the cook time, this project took most of the night.
buttermilk biscuits-005
It was after 11 when when I finally put the mason jars with the finished marmalade into the sanitizing water for the last time.  I was cleaning up the kitchen and wasn’t thinking when I tried to take the jars out of the pot.  I only had some tongs and while they worked for bringing out the empty jars they were not strong enough for the full ones.  I got a jar part way out of the water when it slipped and splashed boiling hot water all over me.
How did I not see that coming?!  I figured out a way around it (empty the water and then remove the jars.  duh!) but I was left burned for my stupidity.  I did get a chance to taste test the marmalade and the biscuit together.  Despite all my issues, the combination was perfection. The hint of lemon in the marmalade was a bright surprise every few bites.
Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe from For the Love of Cooking
yields 2 dozen
Nutritionals(per biscuit): Cals: 75, Fat: 3, Carb: 12, Protein: 2

Orange Marmalade Recipe from The Year in Food
yields 3 pints
Nutritionals(2 T serving): Cals: 76, Carb: 20, Fiber: 1, Protein: 1.


Sally MacKenzie said...

Ouch! Are you ok?

Coley said...

Oh no! Burning yourself is total booty! On the other hand, your marmalade looks lush! My hubman made cherry preserves over the summer and yeah, it took ages. He also makes regular batches of mango chutney and not only does it take ages, but our house smells of vinegar for days...
Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm sure hubman will try it as he loooves marmalade.

Kimberley said...

I feel a little bad for neglecting to write out that critical step! I don't have jar grabbers either, and have poured the water out of the pot and then grabbed the jars with a towel or oven mitt. I'm very glad it turned out, however! (And funnily enough, I can never taste the lemon in mine. Odd how the same recipe will produce different results.) Best, Kimberley

Kirsa said...

As a regular canner, let me point out a few things for your marmelade, to avoid unpleasant surprises.

You cannot leave the jars with that much headspace. it is dangerous for the innocuity of your marmelade, and it could lead to develop toxins, like -say- botulism, which is quite undesirable.

the problem is that it leaves too much space for air inside, causing oxydation (most likely not all the air got pushed out of the jar by expansion), and also air heats up really slower than liquids (in your case, the marmalade), so it's possible that the content did not reach the proper temperature to kill off all the potentially harmful stuff inside.

If you didn't do this already, I suggest that you without delay store those in the refrigerator until consumption.

also, here is a tip, to replace thongs (even thought i really suggest you to buy a pair of jar-lifting ones, it's cleap and quite useful), the first time I canned, I used a very small rope, tied around the jars, and I let one end hang out of my canning pot.