Marmalade/fruitcake/other "making-stuff" reprise?
posted September 29, 2014 9:08 AM   RSS

Last year's fruitcake and marmalade production was a good time with good results (if a little bit intense with the lime on that five fruit marmalade). Shall we do another group cooking/gift-making project?
We could revisit the fruitcake or try again on marmalade. Apple butter is an easy process if we are going to be heating the canner for marmalade anyway. Or we can venture into the realm of handmade mustards as proposed at a recent meetup. Or apple pie filling. Or infuse some limoncello or falernum.

We can divvy up the groceries and supplies (jars, etc.) once we finalize what we plan to make.

Update --- the proposed weekend suddenly isn't that good. Putting this back to "unconfirmed" until we can determine a better date.
posted by janell to Proposed (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Oh, and I forgot the other proposal -- eggnog!
posted by janell at 9:11 AM on September 29, 2014

I could do Nov 1/2, it looks like, but not 8/9.
posted by Secretariat at 9:52 PM on September 29, 2014

We're doing early Thanksgiving Nov 1 so that won't work for me.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:34 PM on September 29, 2014

There's also the Nov 15/16 if that's better overall. And more possibilities: limoncello and/or falernum.
posted by janell at 9:50 AM on September 30, 2014

fwiw, Target has some mason jars for really cheap right now:
slickdeals link

FierceKitten served me some of the marmalade you guys made last year, and it was awesome. Loved that caramelized flavor!
posted by homodachi at 11:14 AM on September 30, 2014

That marmalade was the very best marmalade! But we're leaving town in a couple weeks for the winter. Have a blast!

We shared a flight of three tiny cups of drinking chocolate recently at the Cacao shop downtown and it was amazing. Here's their recipe in case y'all are looking for something delicious to enjoy on the spot.
posted by aniola at 1:34 PM on September 30, 2014

Yes to cooking/canning/baking anything! I'm working Nov 1/2, but should be available Nov 8/9 and 15/16.
posted by dorey_oh at 2:24 PM on September 30, 2014

Oh yeah, I'd like November 15 or 16 even better. And falernum sounds neat- as does apple sauce, mustard, or marmalade. How about something like canned apple pie filling? I've never tried it, but it seems like it could be a handy thing to have around (and possibly could be made from almost the same ingredients as applesauce in different proportions). But I am also braced to hear that premade pie filling is squishy, weird, and a bad idea.
posted by Secretariat at 9:20 PM on September 30, 2014

For the sake of Greg_Ace's BBQ scheduling (he is trying to work around this meetup), let's focus on the 15/16th then since no one hates it yet.

For falernum, I was thinking of this recipe, but as a group activity I think we would just do the first part -- setting up the rum infusion. And maybe making simple syrup and then people would go home with Liquid A and Liquid B. Then at home we'd need to strain Liquid A and combine it with Liquid B. Or else I could do the infusion ahead of time (in bulk) if people can commit to helping pay for the ingredients and we could do the finish assembly as a group.
Limoncello is similarly a two-step process, albeit with a longer extraction time for the first part.

If we wanted to do shelf-stable mustard, there's this canned recipe from Ball. Or this article about fun-sounding mad-scientist mustard making - more flexible, but perishable.

Apple pie filling sounds doable.

I think once we are committed to busting out the canner and its infrastructure, it doesn't really matter if we do more than one canning project. Particularly if one of those camp stoves from the pickling meeting up can be used so we can have the canner(s) outside or on the porch and leave all the inside burners for mustard or marmalade or apple pie filling or whatever.

It seems like mustard is not very much work -- no peeling or zesting, just some soaking or simmering and using the food processor. So it would be an easy "second" project and we just need to decide on the project where we want to spend our peeling/zesting energies --- I'm a little more inclined towards a traditional marmalade than pie filling, but not by much.
posted by janell at 12:05 PM on October 1, 2014

Marmalade or pie filling with both have a ton of peeling and slicing so would be great for a group project. I was thinking of going out to the Fruit Loop for apples and Nov won't be too late for that.

Either marmalade or pie filling on the 15th or 16th will work for me as well.

I'll volunteer my kitchen but we live in the Beav not too far from the transit center.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:55 AM on October 3, 2014

I'm actually going out for apples this weekend (before the Cox Orange Pippins end), and will probably do some apple butter (not with the Pippins) to fulfill some "hints" from some non-canning friends.

I'm fine to host, too, but don't mind schlepping myself and whatever equipment would be helpful out to Beaverton if that is a better fit for the group. If it makes a difference to anyone coming from far away, or multi-modally-transit-taking, I'm happy to let the affected folk get to pick whatever works best.
posted by janell at 12:57 PM on October 3, 2014

Well, my vote is for North Portland, but I'm a little biased. If the consensus ends up being something to do with apples, does anyone happen to have a peeler like this? Because between one of those and a couple of these we could make pretty fast work of some apples. I do have a corer/divider thing.
posted by Secretariat at 4:27 PM on October 3, 2014

Nope, no nifty peeler, here. I skipped peeling entirely for my apple butter this past weekend and just did the first phase of cooking with the peels on. Food mills are great!

Do we have a preference for Saturday Nov 15 vs Sun Nov 16? I don't feel strongly about it, but have ever so slight a preference for Saturday.
posted by janell at 5:38 PM on October 6, 2014

I have a food mill and canning pots and equipment and a propane stove I can bring (or bring over even if I can't make it.)
posted by vespabelle at 6:23 PM on October 6, 2014

Well, if you run apple pie filling through a food mill, I think it would just be applesauce? Not that I'm ruling out applesauce pie, I've just never tried that. (But now I'm kind of curious.)

I feel similarly about dates- either Nov 15 or Nov 16 work but I would slightly prefer Saturday.
posted by Secretariat at 8:32 PM on October 7, 2014

No, you wouldn't mill pie filling. But since we have about seventeen possible projects at this point, who knows what equipment we need?
posted by janell at 9:31 PM on October 7, 2014

I can ask around for a peeler/core but when my mom had one she said the apples had to be symmetrical and smallish to really work well.

Another idea if people are trying to unload tomatoes - ketchup.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:50 AM on October 11, 2014

I'm going to update the date/venue (my place due to laziness & secretariat's vote). So all we have to do is decide on the project (or two projects). We have many possibilities mentioned so far:
- fruitcake
-apple pie filling
-infused liquors (limoncello, falernum)
posted by janell at 4:18 PM on October 13, 2014

My top 3, in order, would be:
1. Marmalade
2. Mustard
3. Apple pie filling
posted by Secretariat at 9:00 PM on October 13, 2014

Any ideas for a marmalade recipe?
posted by fiercekitten at 5:55 PM on October 28, 2014

I picked the recipe last year and it was a fun but weird marmalade. So I'll let someone else pick- maybe we should do something from the Ball book?
posted by Secretariat at 7:47 PM on October 28, 2014

I was thinking a lemon or grapefruit marmalade would be good but I don't have any recipes.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:45 PM on October 29, 2014

The Ball book has several -- strawberry lemon is out of season, but there's lemon ginger quick marmalade and a red onion quick marmalade. Those use added pectin.

The traditional marmalades in it are: orange chili, seville orange, blood orange, ginger pear, grapefruit, "morning cheer" which is faintly terrifying (carrots, oranges, apple, cinnamoncherry, prickly pear, "easiest ever" (oranges, lemon, grapefruit plus canned pineapple?! and maraschino cherries!?), and gingered zucchini (I don't even).
Most of those also have lemons a/o run of the mill oranges in the ingredients.
posted by janell at 10:57 PM on October 29, 2014

So what do we need for this enterprise? I have a couple jars and a microplane and my grandma's water bath canner.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:12 PM on November 8, 2014

We'll need something like this for marmalade (now looking at Alton Brown's one here:

citrus fruit (4 oranges*, 2 lemons or 5/1 for ~10 8oz jars)
sugar (~3ish pounds, I'm good here)

*which could be blood oranges or grapefruit or a mix

Since we don't have to add any pectin, we can scale the sugar and water to however much fruit we have.

Mustard needs (for one batch of that Ball recipe linked above):
1-1/2 cups beer
1 cup brown mustard seeds
1 cup water
1/2 cup malt vinegar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dry mustard
1 Tbsp onion powder

Or else we just wing it with:
mustard seeds (black, brown, yellow, and maybe blend them)
vinegars, beers, ciders
honey or other sweeteners - maple sugar or syrup, brown sugar, molasses (I'm well supplied here)

Canner for marmalade (and mustard if we want it to be shelf-stable) -- fiercekitten is on this
Jars (8oz for marmalade. Mustard in 4oz? are we canning it?) -- fk & I both have some
Other containers if non-canned mustard
BYO-zester/peeler/microplane if you have one
Grinding device (mortar & pestle or suribachi) instead of/in addition to the food processor.

I'd say we should have designated owners to acquire several colors of mustard seeds and some jars and maybe narrow-mouth jar lids. And everyone bring a citrus fruit or two. And then we have potluck with mustard additives -- bring what sounds interesting!


Also, we probably need snacks. And mustard-tasting aids (pretzels! charcuterie!).
posted by janell at 4:10 PM on November 10, 2014

(also, I have a canner so don't feel like you have to schlep yours unless you want to. I don't think we're going to be a huge crowd such that we'd need or want two canners going at once).
posted by janell at 4:11 PM on November 10, 2014

I only now noticed I was a "maybe" on this meetup. I was really a "yes" in my heart all along! I can bring 4 oz jars and some appropriate mustard/marmalade ingredients.

In case anyone is thinking of picking up ingredients on the way, maybe I'll promote a few local businesses. There is a nice spice/salt/tea shop in St. Johns called Olive and Vine. Their bulk spice prices are decent and it's a fun place to check out.

There's an indoor farmers market across the way from Olive and Vine in a restaurant/bar (yes, you can drink and shop) on Saturdays that I haven't checked out yet. Maybe no citrus thought, since those aren't local?

Fred Meyers (there are two on Lombard)also has a decent bulk spice section. They also have jars, of course- and so does the nearby Ace hardware, and City Farm.

Lastly, there's a new crafty/making stuff store that sounds like it may have all sorts of supplies for people like us, as well as rentals and classes in the near future.
posted by Secretariat at 9:04 AM on November 12, 2014

Turns out a bunch of obligations appeared on this day. Boo.
posted by mimo at 10:19 AM on November 12, 2014

I'm debating between this and another thing. I hope to know by Friday so until then I'm still a maybe.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:22 PM on November 12, 2014

Do you want us to pick a different day? In January?
posted by janell at 8:30 PM on November 12, 2014

This date still works for me, but if it's not going to work out for others, rescheduling is ok too. I've got time in December, or some future month.
posted by Secretariat at 9:43 PM on November 12, 2014

Next Saturday or Sunday might work better for me. We have to take the cat to the vet but other than that I think I'm free.
posted by fiercekitten at 5:29 PM on November 13, 2014

Hmm, I am out of town next weekend, so I'd want to punt until December or January.

I think we should cancel for this weekend. I doubt that either Secretariat or I need so much marmalade all to ourselves. We certainly wouldn't benefit from having many hands to divide up all the zesting... and I think mustard would be much more interesting with a crowd of mustard-blending experimenters.
posted by janell at 7:18 PM on November 13, 2014

Agreed. The end result is great, but zesting isn't that much fun, so more hands is a definite plus!

And it turns out that I have a ton of homework for this weekend, so I am a-ok with switching weekends.
posted by Secretariat at 7:43 PM on November 13, 2014

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