Cappers Farmer Blogs > Going Greene

Keep On Trying

Amy GreeneIn my constant pursuit of trying to learn how to make things from scratch, I am usually willing to try anything once. Sometimes, if I know I messed up a recipe or was interrupted midstream, I will try it again. Such is the case with orange marmalade. My husband loves orange marmalade and over the course of our almost-30-year marriage, I have attempted to make this concoction for him. I have since decided that, although I can make jelly like a pro, marmalade is another story.

The first time I tried marmalade was not too long after we were married, when my husband made the usually fatal mistake of saying, "I wish you could cook like my mother – she makes the best orange marmalade." After successfully quashing any latent thoughts of severe pain for that statement, I called my mother-in-law to ask her how to make marmalade. "Nothing to it," she said, and gave me instructions. However, whatever I did wrong turned those lovely oranges into orange bricks.

Fast forward several years to a point where we were living in Florida to pastor a church. In our backyard were gorgeous orange trees with free fruit. Having grown up with Depression-era parents, letting anything like that go to waste was unthinkable. Therefore, I decided once again to make a foray into the world of marmalade. I followed a recipe in one of my cookbooks to the letter – or so I thought. My second attempt turned out to be more like orange mud – so into the trash can it went.

My latest – and possibly last – attempt was this past weekend. My husband bought oranges at Christmas from a coworker. We had eaten as many as we could stand, and given away more. There were just a few left and so my husband wistfully said, "Those would make delicious marmalade." Despite the knowledge of my past two less-than-stellar results, I gamely agreed to give it a shot. I scoured the Internet to find just the right recipe – one that was touted as "no fail." I again followed my directions, put everything together, even found cute little jars at a thrift store and ladled my marmalade in, ever hopeful that this, THIS was my time to shine.

After a night filled with the wonderful sound of jars sealing, I eagerly entered the kitchen the next morning, hoping to see gorgeous marmalade ready to eat. What I found was jar after jar of orange syrup. Yep, every jar was liquid – not a solid jar in the batch. I am sure my children will love their new supply of orange pancake syrup.

Crepes with orange sauce

Crepes with orange sauce (and ice cream).
Photo: iStockphoto.com/janecocoa

While I'm not sure I'll ever try to make orange marmalade again, my latest less-than-perfect project won't stop me from trying the next thing. I will admit, however, that it probably won't have the words "orange," "marmalade" or "jelly" in the title!

Until next time,
Amy