Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Last week I googled some meyer lemon marmalade recipes and read them over and over.  I was an avid canner back in the 70's and 80's so water bath canning is in my background.   As you may know, it really is relatively easy!  I have seen meyer lemons at our local grocery store for several months.  After reading a number of recipes, I settled on using 8 lemons to 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of how hard can that be?  The lemons I found were medium sized  so I would have used only 6 if they had been larger!

This recipe will make enough marmalade to fill  6 - 8 0z jelly jars.....

Ingredients: 8 medium meyer lemons which are sweeter than regular lemons, 4 cups water and 4 cups sugar
You will need a small water bath canner, 6 - 8 oz jelly jars, lids and screw bans and a candy thermometer

Another thing that I loved about this recipe is that if you work like I do - you can make this in 2 nights and spread the job out because the lemons soak in water 24 hours!  Wash the lemons and cut them into thin slices removing the seeds.  I found different uses for the seeds (many recipes call for putting them in cheesecloth to soak in the pot) but I just threw them away. The KIS method! I went ahead and chopped each lemon slice up here.  Using a good 5 quart non-reactive pot with a lid - soak the chopped lemons for 24 hours in the 4 cups of water. I sat mine on the stove - but no heat please!

Last night after work I brought the lemons in the water to a boil and simmered them for 45 minutes. Then I began to add the 4 cups of sugar to the pot over medium heat for another 30 minutes stirring often.  I turned the temperature up at the end and tested it with a candy thermometer to make sure it reached 220 degrees SO THAT IT WOULD THICKEN properly.  You don't want a runny marmalade!

Once it was nicely thickened, I poured it into my PREWASHED hot, dry jars using a funnel so as not to make a MESS!  Wiping the jars clean - putting on the lids and screw bands tight! Place in the canning pot with a metal holder and make sure all jars are covered with water at least 1".  YOU WILL BOIL THE JARS FOR 5 minutes!  Remove WITH   jar tongs carefully to cool! Place on a kitchen towel on the counter.

Like many of you, I find great pleasure in the POP - POP - POP as jars cool on a towel and the lids seal!  That occasional one that doesn't seal often can be pushed down with the finger later.

Now don't these look wonderful!  IF YOU HAVE A TEA ROOM and a commercial kitchen - you could sell these easily for $8.95 - 9.95 or you could sell them at the farmers market when made in your own kitchen!  Generally, prices are less at a farmers market than a retail shop.  The cost to make them was minimal- especially if you buy jelly jars on sale!  CANNING IS SO MUCH FUN - I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


If you have been waiting for a special occasion to have a tea party with friends. Valentines Day is the perfect time!  Winter can be a long time "indoors" and this is something to look forward to - to break up this season with a tea party is a joy.  Maybe just doing some tea decorating would be fun - setting up a display of tea things in your dining room or kitchen.

I love fun decorations and have a habit of mixing antiques with whimsical things.

I love to decorate for the various
holidays and seasons and keep the
items stored away till the next year.

These little desserts aren't real.

You can mix and match - if you look in your cupboard - pink things and red things may be found.  You may prefer bright red to darker burgundy.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have been enjoying baking some of the recipes from a wonderful tea book that came out in 2009:  "TEA AND CRUMPETS" by Margaret M. Johnson. I totally recommend you buy this book! 

 I decided to make the Scottish recipe for Spicy Marmalade Loaf from the Tea Room of Ballindalloch Castle in Banffshire, Scotland.

This recipe book has recipes from all over the United Kingdom.  The recipe called for lining the pan with waxed paper and I found that worked well.  The loaf has 1/2 cup of marmalade in it and is very moist and delicious!

My step-father was from a Scottish family - the Buchanan's who settled near Nashua, New Hampshire.  My step-grandmother Buchanan and her daughter Norma were wonderful cooks.  I remember when I was around 11 years old I had Welsh Rarebit for lunch in their home.  It was a very old home with a barn attached. I also remember them drinking hot tea which we never had in our home in Virginia (just iced tea).

As I shared in an earlier post - Margaret gives the history of marmalade in "Tea and Crumpets" and tells how "James Keiller bought a cargo of bitter oranges and apples that were threatening to spoil after a Spanish ship sought shelter in the harbor during a storm. The thrifty Scotsman's wife turned the fruit into delicious pots of jams, the first batch of Keiller's original Dundee orange marmalade."

Monday, January 10, 2011


At Christmas Time there were some lovely Meyer Lemons at the grocery store!  Perfect for scones and I saw a recipe I had printed out and saved in one of my many scone folders.  It was from a wonderful blog I frequent which is Smitten Kitchen

I have learned to freeze cranberries when I see them because of all the times I failed to freeze them - I learn most things that way!

Do you have a zester - this is a handy gadget and a must have for scones lovers! Lastly, be sure and chop the cranberries in two so they will be sweeter to the taste!

My husband and I were hungry
 and the smell was heavenly!

We each ate (inhaled) three scones!