Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not much writing

I've been a bad blogger lately. It's not that I haven't been cooking (more on that in a minute), but it's rather that Christmas jumped on me and overwhelmed me. Not that I have the problem everyone seems to have, Christmas is actually under control. It was just getting there that was a problem. Surviving the last week of working, settling everything at work, or at least getting it into a state where it could be safely left until after the hollidays. Just the thought of getting out the computer at night after all that has been to much for me the last couple of weeks. But now I'm out of there! No more work before Christmas (I decided to take the day of tomorrow), and Swedish Christmas is celebrated on December 24, so Monday is a holliday. It's just wonderful. D. has been behaving like a five year old a couple of days before Christmas all night. And we're actually totally prepared for Christmas. Gifts bought, and almost all of them wrapped. Candy made. We're going away all of the holliday, so we've rather emptied the fridge than filled it. And now, with work done away with, everything feels just fine.

I did make marmalade by the way. Totally wonderfull, sweet and bitter ruby grapefruit marmalade. It might appear in a picture or two later, but so far, no camera cable found. The cell phone camera only makes do when I really need a photo. I mean, the pictures it takes doesn't really seem to depict reality, at least not in the colors I see it.
I also made cloudberry fudge. It turned out quite well, except for a bitter aftertaste that I'm not quite sure where it comes from. I made it into kind of sandwiches though, with a white chocolate lemon ganache in between two layers of fudge. And I made marshmallows for the first time in my life.

Marshmallows. Maybe I should explain. When I was little, marshmallows was a rare treat brought over from the US when Grandma and Grandpa had been there to visit. Nowadays it can be bought in many places in Sweden, but back then, it just couldn't. I still really can't resist the sugary taste, especially in hot chocolate. I've been thinking I should try for a long time. It's so simple, just sugar, more sugar (well, my mother's Better Homes and Gardens' Cookies and Candies actually calls for corn syrup, but since that's not available I substituted white baking syrup which seemed to work OK) and some gelatin. And an eggwhite. My marshmallows don't become as dry as bought ones, they are rather foamy. But I still can't resist, and I've been eating far too many of them while trying to coat them in powdered sugar to pack them. Far too sweet...

The grapefruit marmalade on the other hand was no way too sweet. I modified the recipe quite a bit (first of all halving it, but then I used a completely different amount of sugar too), but the original recipe is the one for grapefruit marmalade with gin that can be found in "Sylt och marmelad" av Jan Hedh. We used 4 ruby grapefruits and 1 lemon which was all thinly sliced and covered with water and left on the counter for 24 hours. Then all the water was drained of, another 1.5 litres of water was added and this was boiled for 30 minutes. All of it went into the fridge overnight, and the next day a little more sugar than a third of the weight of the whole mixture of water and fruit was added, together with a decilitre of gin. This was boiled to about 105°C and put into sterilised jars.

It's hard to describe the flavour, but I have to agree with someone who claimed that ruby grapefruit makes for a wonderful marmalade which is both sweet and bitter in a very good way.

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