A friend to the family has recently become a tilesetter, and eager to do some work to add to his portfolio, he wished to put tiles in my parents guest toilet. </backstory>
With that said, he has a dog that he can’t leave on its own for too long, so it gets to come along with him. The other day I had the surprise pleasure of meeting this dog. Such a lovely dog! She is much different from the dog I grew up with, mostly in that this dog will eat anything! She was absolutely crazy about rabbit treats. Speaking of rabbit treats, Harry had to be locked up on the upper floor, which he didn’t mind all that much since he usually likes to hang around on the upper floor in the daytime anyway. But let me tell you what happened when I went upstairs to say goodbye to him when I was leaving! I reached down to pet him as usual, but instead of lowering his head to receive my affection, he dodged off! I followed him, gently talking to him and asking what’s the matter, and when I reached out my hand again he attacked me! He was extremely upset at me reeking of dog, I don’t even think he recognised me. We have discussed before that Harry seems to recognise people by scent and be wary before he gets to smell them, and this clearly proves it. He thought I was a dog! I wonder had he attacked the pitbull if he had the chance? He did leap towards it the first time it was visiting, and he tends to attack people he doesn’t know. Seeing how the pitbull treated the glove i gave it to play with, I dread the thought of the outcome of that fight!
Harry! You have to be more careful. You’re big, but you’re not invincible!
When I was a kid my mom and I used to do all sort of cooking and baking and other stuff that you do in a kitchen. I particularly remember enjoying making marmalade. So, when there was a sale on oranges the other day, I decided to make some marmalade! I had never made it myself before, so I looked up all kinds of recipes, and I eventually decided on a recipe in my regular cook book for “easy made citrus marmalade”. It was less complicated than the others and called for the use of a food processor. I just bought a used food processor online and I am constantly looking for ways to use it. I love it! It’s an old sturdy model that’s made to last and not break within a year like new appliances tend to do.
I started off with cutting off the orange part of the peel and put that aside, then i cut away as much of the white stuff as I could and removed any seeds. In conventional recipes you’re just meant to chop up the oranges and keep the ends and seeds and boil them along with the rest, wrapped in a piece of cloth, since that’s where most of the pectin is. Now, I can’t stand the white stuff on oranges, so I removed as much of the white as i possibly could, and used sugar with added pectin to make up for it.
Aside from regular oranges, I used two blood oranges to get a nice colour, and a lemon so it wouldn’t be too sweet.
And here are the peels that i’ve put aside and shredded, the recipe didn’t call for this but i want nice shredded peels in my marmalade, otherwise you’d just throw them in the food processor along with the rest.
I let the machine do its magic and now it’s nice and blended. You can also see the special sugar I’m using. It’s made specifically for use when making jam or marmalade. You can use regular sugar, but there is a higher chance it will get runny. This pretty much guarantees a nice consistency, and it makes the product last longer. I figured it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially on my first try!
Now it’s time to take the biggest pot you’ve got and add the orange mush and peels! The sugar is added later.
Here the oranges have boiled for quite a while, then I added the sugar and let it boil for another while. Nearly done now! It smells amazing at this stage.
Also, any big pieces of white stuff or seeds that i missed have floated up to the surface now and can be easily removed along with the foam.
I didn’t have any fancy jars, so I just used whatever empty jars I had. Now, it’s extremely important the jars are absolutely clean! I washed them thoroughly, then filled them with boiling water and let them sit for a while. Then I emptied them and put them in the oven along with the lids at 120 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes to be sure they’re completely sterile. I then poured the marmalade into them while they were still hot and put the lids on. All Done!
I tried it out the next day and man.. I’ll never eat store bought marmalade again! If I had to complain about something it would be that I managed to make it a bit thick. But that’s better than too runny, at least. I think that can be helped by boiling it for a slightly shorter amount of time next time. Oh, and I brought one of the jars to my boyfriends mother when we went there for dinner. Now that’s some easy points! The other jar I’m giving to my mom, and the third (and biggest) I’m keeping to myself! At this rate, i’ll have to make more soon!
I know you’re just dying to make your own marmalade now, so here’s the recipe I used, from a cook book found in most swedish kitchens, “Vår Kokbok”, with slight modifications.
1 kilo (2.2 pounds) oranges or mixed citrus fruits
8 deciliters (3.38 cups )of water
11 deciliters (1 kilo) sugar. (4.65 cups/2.2 pounds) (I used sugar with added pectin)
Brush the fruits under hot water. Cut them in smaller pieces. (I peeled them with a knife first and saved only the thin orange part of the peels)
Mix into a pulp in a food processor or blender.
Add fruit and water to a big pot and boil under a lid for about 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir down the sugar, a little at a time.
Boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes without a lid. Let it sit fora moment and then remove any foam.
Pour marmalade into clean hot jars, all the way up to the rim and put on lids. (careful, everything is extremely hot! Use oven mitts or pot-holders.)
Done! Put a nice homemade label on the jar and you have a great going away present.
I think next time I’ll try to make pure lemon marmalade, maybe with some lime for colour. I love lemons!
Well, I still haven’t gotten myself to update regularly, and right now I don’t have time to do a long post. So here’s a quick update to keep myself from worrying over not updating my blog, hah.
Today I bring you a taste of my latest interest, sculpting! I found a box of super sculpey in the attic, and since it had been stored properly (cold and dark) it was practically as new! Eager to try it out, I made this bunny, loosely based on my beloved Harry. The proportions aren’t realistic, and it’s rather rushed as I just wanted to get something done fast! -But under the circumstances I’m happy with it. These pictures were taken before curing, it is now cured and I am planning to paint it. New pictures will come when I do. I have since started on a wolf sculpture, trying to keep to the right proportions and the like, which has proven to be quite difficult and not nearly as fun, so it has been put on ice for a while. Just typical, isn’t it? I think i’ll do a couple of more fun and careless sculptures until i get the hang of it, before trying to do something “correct and proper”.
(click to view larger)
Aha! First blog entry, and I’m staying with the plan! Something nice happened today, that put a well-needed smile on my face.
With the boyfriend sick with stomach flu and the snow melting away to be replaced by rain, and the sun setting at 3:30 PM,
I’ve been feeling extra gloomy lately. It was with the utmost reluctancy that I went to the grocery store today.
While there, I remembered I needed to pick up some sewing needles, and I found a package with a variety of needles.
Great, I thought. Some of these can be used as sculpting tools! But there was no price tag on them. Looking at the price tags of the other sewing accessories, I figured these must be much more expensive. That’s always the case when something is not marked.
Either way, I needed them, so I put them in my cart and went to the self checkout. (I love those things! One less reason to have to interact with another person)
But when it was time to scan the needles, they wouldn’t register. They hadn’t been put into the system yet. An employee soon arrived to help out, and she told me the person responsible for sewing appliances had gone home for the day. ”Do you remember how much they cost?” she asked me. When I said they didn’t have a price tag, she asked me how much I thought they cost. “Oh…I don’t know” I said. “Maybe 30 kronor?”.
At this state I was nearing panic. How could she expect me to guess that? What if they cost more? Or less? Either way it would be a subject of angst for the rest of the evening.
“What? That much? Well… how about you get them for 20?” I was baffled. But I agreed to the price, and I walked home in the cold and dark january afternoon, trying to keep myself from smiling like an idiot.
This just goes to shows how such a small and seemingly insignifigant gesture can have such a huge effect, so big that I even decide to write about it, and an energy boost much needed to care for my poor boyfriend, and a happier tone when chatting with my online friends. Now, imagine if she had said “30? I think these cost more in the lines of 40!” Or simply had a bad attitude about it. While this cheerfulness might last the rest of the evening, the bad mood that would have set me in would have lasted for days! Something to think about when interacting with others.
Oh my. Such a long post about some needles! Well, I’ve said all i need to say about this. If you’ve read this far, then thanks! And i challenge you to do something unexpectedly nice for someone! Who knows, you could start a chain reaction building up to world peace!
Harry prefers to drink water from a glass.