We often order a box of grapefruit at Christmas. I had opened the last jar of homemade marmalade in early December and it is also the season in Florida for Seville oranges, the ugly, bitter fruit that produces a delicious preserve. I’ve discovered that it improves with aging. That last jar I was finishing was five years old and had a deep, mellow bittersweetness. (Good marmalade is a balance of sweet, sour, and bitter.) The Orange Shop has a flat shipping rate and offered a much better price on four trays of oranges than just one or two. (They are wonderful, by the way, and once found me hardscrabble lemons from bushes in a back field that were just what I needed for chutney.) Why not make a decade’s worth of marmalade at once? I didn’t realize that this amount would take me to the limit of my stock of very large cooking pots, but thanks to help from Rachel Christensen (“it’s a skill,” I tell her) there are now 44 pints of whole-fruit marmalade.
About the Author: Karen Christensen
Karen Christensen is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and scholar who writes about the many ways women have gained and wielded power. She is the owner and CEO of Berkshire Publishing Group, a former trustee of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Press, a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, and the founder of the Train Campaign. Subscribe to Karen’s Letter @Substack https://karenchristensen.substack.com or try her Home Ecology newsletter. She can also be found on Twitter @karenchristenze.
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