Friday, January 31, 2014

Homesteading Author Map

There are a lot of homesteading and gardening books out there in the sustainable living sphere of influence, many of which are very useful, very entertaining, or both.  However, it goes nearly without saying that a lot of the advice from an author in sunny, warm, dry southern California won't be the same as the advice from an author in rainy, cold coastal Maine.  So, we thought it would be interesting to put together a map of some of our favorite sustainable living authors/bloggers and where they hail from.  We also thought it might be helpful to overlay those locations with the USDA growing zones map to make it easier if anyone wanted to seek out authors in their own region or with similar environments.

The map below is just a starting point.  The author list is certainly not complete, and it would be awesome to be able to index authors by other maps as well, such as annual rainfall or soil type. (The map is also decidedly U.S.-centric.)  If you have suggestions for other authors to include, or other useful formats, let us know in the comments section!

Click to zoom in to read the labels, unless you have a magnifying glass handy or superhuman vision.

EDIT: Updated 2/22/15 to include Anna's suggestions.  Thanks Anna!  (And it only took us 13 months to get around to it!)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nice Sliced Lunchmeat!

Almost a year ago, we noted that one thing we wanted to learn how to make was additive-free lunch meat.  A bit of bumming around YouTube turned up several examples, but most featured involved processes that looked like they produced delicious results while entailing enough labor to lose our interest.  However, two videos were particularly useful for us.

The first showed us how lunch meat is made industrially, which we may try to approximate on a home scale some day.  It's not as involved as we expected, basically comprising three steps: beating the heck out of some raw meat, sticking the beaten pieces together to form a nice round shape and holding them in place with some type of casing, then cooking them in a well-controlled oven.

The second showed us how to make a passable--yet still slice-able--substitute from leftover roast chicken, which involves blending up leftover roast chicken, mixing in extra seasonings and gelatin, forming into a loaf, and chilling in the fridge.  Mrs. Volfie noted that the gelatin wasn't necessary if the roasting liquid was retained--during roasting the collagen in the chicken's connective tissues breaks down into gelatin, which ends up in the roasting liquid at the bottom of the pan.  In fact, it'll cause the liquid to gel up if it goes in the fridge, provided the chicken was roasted long enough to break down the collagen (and the chicken had enough collagen to begin with).

So, we wanted to try it without adding gelatin to see if we could get a nice firm set and something to slice for our sandwiches.

We started with some leftover chicken chunks and their cooking liquid.  The liquid is currently gelled, which is a good sign.

Then we put everything in the food processor...

...and blended it up almost to the consistency of a chicken salad spread.  We added a few pinches of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Then we carefully sculpted it into a loaf.  In retrospect, we should have made the loaf shorter and taller.  Now it looks kind of like a nugget.  The nugget/loaf went in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, we tried slicing it...and it worked!  It's definitely more fragile than the pieces Mrs. Volfie was able to shake like a Polaroid picture, but it holds together good enough for the sandwiches we eat!

Look at that nice row of cold cuts!

It doesn't cut as well with a regular knife as it does with the slicer, and neither the knife nor the slicer do a good job when the loaf warms up.  So heads up, if you try to cut it at room temp, you might end up eating a chicken salad sandwich anyway.  It might hold together better if we cooked the chicken longer or boiled the liquid down with the bones, etc. still in it.  But we were in the process of making biochar, so our starting material didn't get as much attention as it maybe should have.
The sliced meat is now an integral part of our soon-to-be-famous alliteration sandwich (chicken, chard, and cheddar).  Jake might just have to consider expanding his lunch repertoire beyond PB&J!

Have you made slice-able lunch meat before?  What's your favorite method?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quando Umni Flunkus Moreggnogi

Those unfamiliar with public television in the United States probably have never heard of the Red Green Show.  That's a true tragedy, as the show had unparalleled success with a fifteen-year run, and in our opinion, should still be running today.  (The success could not be paralleled because the show's trajectory was more of a random walk than a straight line...)

The Red Green Show has everything one could ask for in a sketch comedy masterpiece: a possum-themed van, a duct tape fixation, Canadians, a possum-themed lodge complete with latin motto, multi-colored suspenders, loads of old-timey wisdom, a possum-themed club, creative repurposing (what we call whatchagotamology), and bad puns.  If you're not familiar, you definitely owe it to yourself to check out a few episodes, which are readily available thanks to the magic of the internets.

Anyway, the Red Green Show debuted in January, 1991, which means that this month is the 23rd anniversary of arguably the best TV show ever.  This is the type of event that we celebrate with eggnog.  We had originally planned to make a possum-themed eggnog, but Katie vetoed that before we even had time to catch a possum.  So instead, here is a red- and green-colored eggnog.

Start with some type of red berry leftover from the holiday season.  For us, that was cranberries, but this 'nog would also work great with cherries, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranites, or all of the above!  For the cranberries, we had about 1.25 cups, which we added to a pot with 0.33 cups water, and cooked until the berries were mashable.  We started cooking them in the microwave, but they sounded like they were going to explode after a few seconds, so we switched to the stove (by Katie decree).  Also, if we had more cranberries, we would have probably doubled this amount.  The red color and cranberry flavor could have been stronger.

While the cranberries were cooking, we started same as always: beat six egg yolks until thick and bright yellow, mix in 1.5 cups milk, and microwave until the temp reaches 160 °F.

Then we mixed in 1 cup sugar and another 1.5 cups milk, then the mashed cranberries.  That's more sugar than usual, but the cranberries turned out to be pretty tart.

We had trouble breaking up the cranberries fine enough with just the egg beater (we keep forgetting to sharpen the beater blades!), and our stick blender is on the fritz, so we had to resort to Big Bertha for the homogenization.  If possible, add all the berries and just enough eggnog to make it blend right.  If you add all six cups at once, the cranberries take longer to blend, and you might have to clean up the kitchen before your next picture.

On second thought, that nog doesn't look quite red enough.  Let's add some sour cherry jam!

There...that's a little rosier!  Maybe we could have also used up some leftover red sprinkles to make it even more red.  Or we could have added other red-colored spices to help fend off the cold January weather. 

Now for the green part: leftover sprinkles from decorating Christmas cookies! (Since we're fresh out of mint and kiwis, and garnishing with parsley didn't seem quite right...)  And there it is: Red Green-themed eggnog.  Feel free to adjust or embellish this recipe as you see fit.  After watching a few episodes of the Red Green show, you'll definitely have some ideas for how to make it better.  Remember: if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

The recipe:
6 egg yolks
3 cups milk, divided into two batches of 1.5 cups
1 cup sugar
1.25 cups cranberries or other red fruit
0.33 cups water
0.33 cups cherry jelly (or jelly from other red fruit)
Green sprinkles to taste

Beat egg yolks until thick and yellow, then mix in 1.5 cups milk.  Heat until 160 °F, mix in sugar and then the remaining milk, cranberries, and cherry jelly.  Blend until homogeneous and red-colored.  Cool to room temp (or colder), pour into glasses, and garnish with green sprinkles.

How do you color your eggnog red?  Is the Red Green Show also your favorite PBS show?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chicken-Flavored Biochar

On Thursday we wrote about our brand-spankin' new pocket rocket stove and how excited we were that it was working.  This weekend we put it to the test with a task we'd been saving for a long time: turning the leftovers from chicken butchering (or more precisely, from chicken roasting and shredding so they'd all fit in our freezer) into calcium- and phosphorus-rich biochar.

Today's objective: get rid of this without throwing it in the trash or stinking up the neighborhood.  Katie says, "You've been saving that since November?!  Eww!"  The smell is...less offensive than expected.  There's also some bonus biomass to process, and fun colors, too!

Step 1: Get a roaring fire going in the pocket rocket on top of a good bed of coals.  Notice we added the concrete blocks around the sides for extra stability this time.

One foolproof way to see if the stove is drafting correctly is the old marshmallow test.  If you can roast a marshmallow above the chimney, it's drafting correctly.  We recommend this test be performed during every burn.

Step 2: When the fire is burning really hot, add a little bit of the chicken waste.  It's hard to set a hard ratio of wood-to-chicken, but if you try it, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

There's something oddly poetic and at the same time Terminator-esque about pyrolyzing chicken bones.

When things are burning well, there's no smoke.

If the fire gets too cold, say, from adding too much wet chicken material, the smoke is kind of white, but not really acrid like one might expect.  We found that adding a handful of loose, very dry leaves usually fixed this situation since the leaves would ignite and burn hot for a few seconds, which was enough to get the wood back on track.   Hopefully no one thinks there's a new pope--we kind of like this Francis guy.

After about five hours, the bucket was full enough of char and ashes that it became difficult to scrape the coals away from the chimney opening to keep it drafting properly.  We let it burn for a little while without adding any fuel, which allowed the chimney to cool down enough that we could pick it up with insulated leather gloves.  The top of the bucket came right with it.

Then we dumped the hot biochar into another steel bucket.  You can tell this one's different because it still has paint.  Then we started over with re-lighting the stove.  Probably we could have also scooped some of the hot coals from this bucket back into the first one to light the next fire and saved a few minutes.

And there you have it: chicken-flavored biochar.  You may use that as the name of your garage band, if you like.  After about 10 hours, we had all of the chicken waste taken care of, and got a little less than one five-gallon bucket worth of char and ashes.  That works out to about one chicken per hour at this scale. Also, a word of caution: even 24 hours later, combining the ashes into one bucket, they were still hot and had some glowing embers.  Don't store them too close to combustibles!

Some of the bones are just charred, others have had all the carbon burned out of them, leaving a fragile ash matrix.  Both will be very good for the garden.  None of the nearby houses started on fire, and none of the neighbors came over to complain (which would have certainly followed had we failed on the first goal), which means we went two-for-two on the day.  Success!

Have you made biochar before?  What's your setup?  What do you do with chicken leftovers?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pocket Rocket Stove

One nice thing about combustion of various fuels this time of year is that it produces heat.  Heat, it turns out, is very useful for increasing the temperature of things, like bacon on a grill, a fermentation vessel currently developing a batch of wild grape wine, or the air in a garage or house.

Many wood stoves and fireplaces used for those purposes have two distinct drawbacks with regard to that last one: they lose a lot of heat out the chimney and the don't completely burn the wood.  Those drawbacks in turn lead to the problems of unnecessary wood cutting and air pollution (enjoyment in the exercise and the charming scent of dilute woodsmoke notwithstanding).

Enter the rocket mass heater, RMH, rocket stove, or half-dozen other names by which they may be called.  These heaters are designed with two characteristic features in mind.  First, they naturally draw sufficient air to completely combust the fuel (usually wood).  That is, there is enough oxygen flowing through the burn chamber that volatile gases from fuel pyrolysis can ignite and burn completely.  Second, maximal heat is extracted from those hot combustion gases because the 'chimney' (more accurately called an exhaust tube) takes a tortuous path out of whatever building the heater is heating, and doesn't just allow the heat to go straight up.  This tortuous exit path is often surrounded by high-heat capacity materials, such as cob, to absorb the heat while the stove is burning and radiate the heat later on after the stove is snuffed.

Anyway, we decided that it was time for us to dabble in the art of rocket stove construction because we wanted to 1. heat the integral part of the Lab commonly identified by outsiders as 'the garage,' and 2. have an extremely clean-burning device on hand for making some biochar from leftover butchering waste (i.e., something that wouldn't smell like burning meat).

We recently had the opportunity to browse the classic Rocket Mass Heater book, which describes the theory, operating principles, and construction of a variety of this class of heaters, and decided that a Pocket Rocket stove would be a good place to start.  We came to that conclusion primarily because it's simple, portable, and we already had most of the necessary components on-hand.  Note: if you do an internet search for this model of heater, make sure to include 'stove' in your search terms, or you'll just end up with lots of motorcycle pictures (or other impertinent stuff). 

Caveat: This project has the potential to cause lots of damage to you and your surrounding area if you aren't careful.  If you try this, make sure you do test burns in a well-ventilated space away from flammable buildings and trees so the dern thing won't kill you with carbon monoxide, burn you like the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark (albeit by a different mechanism), tip over and start your garage on fire, or put you on Smokey the Bear's naughty list. If you do it on a concrete surface, insulate the floor from the bucket so the concrete underneath doesn't crack and crumble.  Do more research than just this blog post.  Don't fire this thing up during drought conditions.  Don't accidentally think of other ways to cause a disaster with it, and above all, don't try to sue is if you do! (Trust us, it's not worth the effort.)

Anyway, let's get started!

We started with a steel bucket and steel lid, marked off where the inlet and outlet holes would go, and cut a hole out of the middle of those.  We used a regular 3.5" hole saw, and were surprised it worked so well.  Then we marked off where we wanted to cut tabs out to the lines we marked off...
...and cut the tabs.  A big wire cutters would have probably worked well, but so did the knife, and we were looking for an excuse to bring it back to Scary Sharp (which we'll have to do if we want to cut anything with it after this project).  The original plans call for a 6" stove pipe as the inlet, but an old paint can is also right about 6".  Other tools we found useful in this step were leather gloves, a vice grips, and a hatchet for bending the tabs back.
The exit pipe is a 4" diameter steel pipe that formerly supported our precarious mailbox.  It's too heavy to alight upon the lid like the plans said, so we cut a section out of the bottom and let it rest on the bottom of the bucket.  We pounded those flaps in to make it easier to stick through the hole in the lid.
Here it is fully assembled and ready for a test burn.  Right now, all the hot gases will still go out the top, but we're planning to change that before using it as a garage heater.  It turns out that the gases coming out the stack are hot enough to burn a piece of wood, so they would presumably have the same effect on a garage roof.  We'd like to avoid that.
To light the stove, we made a few origami snowballs out of newspaper, junk mail, or whatever, and put them down the chimney.  It helps if they're small enough to fall all the way to the bottom, but it's not completely necessary because they'll get smaller and fall down as they burn.  (Whoa, far out!)  We Lit the last one and dropped it in the chimney on top of the others.  This should get the draft going the right direction. (It did for us, in surprisingly easy fashion.)
Once the draft is going through the chimney, we put some more paper in through the intake such that it would catch fire from the snowballs, and slowly built up with small sticks, then larger sticks, scraps of wood, etc., until we had a roaring blaze like this going.  Any coating on the bucket should start decomposing in short order.  It was kind of neat to see a lot of the fumes being sucked into the intake.  Holy smokes (heh), it's working like it's supposed to!
Also, if there's a plastic handle on the bucket, it might be a good idea to remove it before starting the fire.  But check out the radiant heat flow on this puppy!
If the path to the chimney isn't quite clear enough, or the wood not quite dry enough, it would burn a little like this (picture shows worst event).  One correction we might make with our design is to make a bigger hole in the bottom of the chimney so coals and ashes don't block it as easily.  Our chimney is also a little shorter than it should be, which doesn't help.
But if we keep the path clear and don't overload the intake, the exhaust is nice and clear.  Time for a more challenging test!
The black thing in the middle is part of a chicken carcass, post roasting and de-meating.  As long as we kept the wood-to-chicken ratio high enough (which wasn't hard), there was no smoke and no odor.  Hypothesis supported!  Woo hoo!  Plus it makes some high-phosphorus ashes/biochar.  

Now we just need some extra 4" stove pipe to direct the exhaust back toward the ground and along the floor so we can heat the garage with it.  Fortunately, we've got IFTTT on post if any pops up on Craigslist for the right price.

Have you constructed a rocket heater for a particular space?  Have you used it to make biochar before?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Canned Apple Pie Filling Without ClearJel

This year has been a bit anachronistic for us, since we didn't plant a real garden this summer amidst the flurry of moving activity.  That is to say, we didn't really get our fix of putting up food during the normal summer months.  But we've been making up for it this fall and winter, with squash butter, marmalade, and now, apple pie filling.  One of the best Christmas gifts we got this year was a bushel of apples from Jake's parents, which we've been working on converting into various forms of preserved goods before they become unpreserved bads.

One thing we were keen on trying was apple pie filling. We like to make our own pie filling prior to making a pie or apple crisp because it helps make sure the end product isn't runny or overly dry, which can be kind of a guessing game depending on the juiciness of the apples.  But making the pie filling at pie-making time is kind of tedious, and we have the fresh apples now, not a couple months from now.  So we started asking the great googley moogley about pie filling recipes, and found out that when making canned pie filling, regular corn starch or tapioca won't work because the thickener starts to break down during the extended processing at high temperature (although we haven't verified that ourselves).  As a result, almost all canned pie filling recipes call for a commercial product called ClearJel, which is a corn starch derivative.  Not wanting to use a nebulously-described product like that (and more importantly, not having any on hand), we looked for other options, and found a tip in an gardenweb forum that canned pie filling can be made with pectin, just using less than would be required for a fully set jam or jelly.  Now we were in business!  We've got plenty of pectin.  And, it turns out, the Pomona's Pectin website even has a recipe for apple pie filling! (The recipe isn't on the chart that comes with the pectin.  Also, while we're on the subject of Pomona's pectin, why do they give you way more CaCl2 than you need to make the amount of calcium water required for the packet of pectin in the box?  We're accumulating quite a bit of the salt, which we will probably start storing in the car as an emergency ice-melting kit.)

Anyway, time to give the pectin pie filling a try!

We started by converting the apples into spot- and core-free apple chunks, and then slices.
The fastest way we've found to fillet apples is shown in progression here, from left (whole apple) to right (cleaned apple).  Good apples have four fillets, which can be removed in just four cuts, each starting near the stem, curving the knife around the core, and finishing near the flower petal end.  Compare that to eight cuts when the first cut is to slice the apple in half!  The control with this method is way better than with those eight-section apple corer things, which usually get some part of the core in the apple sections or waste a lot of good material unless the apples are almost perfectly symmetrical.  In our experience, very few homegrown apples are that symmetrical.
In our two-gallon pot, we could triple the recipe from the Pomona's website without much trouble.  In went 15 cups of apple slices, a varying amount of water depending on the juiciness of the apples, lemon juice, calcium water, and spices.  They cooked until almost soft.
Then we added the pectin-sugar mixture and returned to a boil...
...then put everything in jars.  Our triple recipe only yielded a little more than double what the original recipe claimed for yield, but two triple batches gave us about nine pint jars.  We sealed eight and processed in a boiling water bath like the recipe says.  The ninth we kept for a test apple crisp to see how this pie filling would compare to our usual recipe.
Since it had been a while since we made apple crisp, we figured it would be a good idea to make one with our old recipe, too, um, as a control.  Real science experiments like this must have a control.
Our normal recipe is on the left, which calls for 4 cups apple slices, two cups water, and 0.25 cups corn starch (the rest of the recipe is below).  We already like the fact that not as many fillers like corn starch and water are added to the pectin-containing recipe.  But, it looked like all of the water we added was still running around in the pan.  We feared that the finished crisp would be too runny.
After baking in the crisp, however, our fears turned out to be unfounded.  The canned pie filling with pectin is on the right in this picture and is no more runny (either here or in the pan after scooping the piece out) than the regular corn starch-thickened filling, which is on the left.  100% of household respondents preferred the much more appley flavor of the pectin-thickened filling.  Given a large number of apples to preserve in the future, this recipe will definitely reappear in our house.
We should note that in our two batches, we added different amounts of water.  The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of water per 5 cups of apple slices, or up to 0.5 cups water if the apples aren't very juicy.  Our apples weren't very juicy, so in the first batch we added closer to the 0.5 cups, but that seemed to make it really runny, so the second batch (from which we made the above crisp), we added closer to the 3 tablespoons.  In the interest of completeness, Katie also made an apple pie from the first batch to see if that would be runny.  
It's hard to tell from this picture (we wanted to feature Katie's artsy crust work), but the first batch is considerably runnier, especially when the pie is warm.  (And who wants to wait until the pie is all the way cool before trying it?)  Considering that jams and jellies made with pectin are also often runny until they cool all the way down, that kind of makes sense.  In any case, we would recommend using the minimum amount of water, regardless of how juicy the apples are.

The recipes:

For the pectin-canned pie filling, go here.

For the uncanned, corn starch-thickened recipe we used before (can't remember where we found it):

4 cups apple slices
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
0.25 teaspoon salt
0.125 teaspoon nutmeg
0.25 cup corn starch

Slice apples, mix with lemon juice, set aside.  Mix all other ingredients in 2-quart saucepot on stove, heat on medium heat until thick.  Add apples, cook until tender.

Crisp topping:
The crisp topping we used is usually good for a thin topping on a 9" x 13" pan, or a thick topping on a 9" x 9" pan:

1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick melted butter
0.75 cups flour

Mix all ingredients together until uniform.

Put the pie filling into a 9" x 13" pan, spread the crisp topping on the top, lightly pack together by patting the crisp lightly on the head like it just brought you the Sunday paper, and bake at 350 °F until crisp topping is crispy. That's all there is to it!

Pie Crust:
For the pie crust, we used this recipe, but reduced the butter to 0.75 cup and replaced about a cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

What types of preserved apple products do you make?  What's your favorite apple pie filling recipe?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cutie Marmalade

Let's say, hypothetically, that someone had a big bag of citrus fruit that they brought home in a cooler, and they set the cooler in the garage, assuming that an insulated cooler in an attached garage would be able to keep the fruit from freezing.  Let's also say, hypothetically, that that assumption was wrong, and that same someone now has five pounds of frozen (and now bitter) citrus fruit on their hands.  What could they do, other than taking the whole bunch out to the compost?  The answer we came up with, hypothetically, would be to turn those frozen fruits into a big batch of tasty marmalade!

Marmalade was discovered in 1832 by westward-traveling pioneers who, upon reaching California, hunted marmots and mixed the meat with sweetened lemon juice to produce a topping for their sourdough bread.  Fortunately for marmotkind, it was discovered shortly thereafter that a citrus-only version was also pretty good.  (Don't bother looking that up.)

Marmalade is typically made from oranges and lemons, but in our experience, any mix of citrus fruit will work, provided it's not too heavy on grapefruit.  As an aside, we were curious about the origin of 'Cuties,' which were to be the source of our marmalade.  It turns out 'Cuties' are a type of clementine grown in Calfiornia; clementines are a cross between a tangerine and an orange.  It also turns out that the citrus family tree reads like a trashy romance novel, with 'accidental hybridizations' (see above link for clementine), grapefruits not knowing exactly who their parents are (probably a pomelo and whatever sweet orange she could find), and a 'propagation station' in California to determine compatibility of different varieties.  Scandalous.

We also found out that the reason citrus fruits turn bitter when they freeze involves some cool chemistry.  Citrus fruits contain a molecule called limonin and a few other related compounds (nomillin and naringin) that are bound in various forms as the fruit ripens on the tree and goes through various treatments (such as juicing).  The bound forms of these compounds are not bitter, but isolated limonin (and the unbound forms of the other related compounds) are very bitter indeed.  The enzymes that cut off limonin from its precursors are activated by acid, and can act on the limonin precursor when all three (enzyme, acid, and limonin precursor) are liberated from the orange tissue, e.g., by juicing the orange, or cell wall damage from freezing.  That's the reason that juice from Navel oranges turns bitter after a few hours (and juice from later-maturing Valencia oranges doesn't) and freezing temperatures in California and Florida cause major losses of marketable citrus fruit.

Relationship between bitter limonin and non-bitter related molecules, based on references here and here.

Anyway, since it had been a while since we made marmalade, we looked up a recipe as a sort of reference, and found this one.  Any recipe produced by a mad scientist is good enough for our kitchen.  Since we're using frozen clementines instead of fresh oranges, we made a few modifications (described below).

A large mesh bag of mostly frozen Cuties.
We quickly converted them into peels and sections, because gosh, those things are so easy to peel!  The sections, being the particles that make up cuties, are called cutinos.  Don't bother looking that up, either.
Then we sliced the peels up.  The French would call them 'julienned,' or something like that.
Everything went into the pot, along with a Navel orange, a lemon, and a ruby red grapefruit we found lurking in the fridge, and we added water until we could just see it over the citrus pieces, like the recipe said.  But in hindsight, we should have added less water because the fruit was so juicy and it took forever to cook down.
We brought it to a simmer and let it go until everything was soft.  We broke up the pieces with the starfish masher thing shown. (It's probably not really for mashing up starfishes, it just looks like a starfish when viewed along the handle axis.)  When everything looked sufficiently cooked, we added brown sugar to the mix equal to the water we had added, which turned out to be about the right amount of sugar, even though the water we added was too much.  (We didn't measure the fruit at first, but it was probably around just shy of 15 cups, and we added 9.75 cups sugar.  Total yield was about 17 cups marmalade.)  Also, it was a little too bitter for our liking, so we added a couple tablespoons of ginger to the batch, which solved the problem.  Then we waited and waited and waited for it to gel up, but the minimal pith and peels on the Cuties probably means that there was limited native pectin available.  So we ended up adding two tablespoons of Pomona's pectin mixed with another 0.25 cups sugar and three tablespoons of the accompanying calcium water.  We put it in jars and sealed half by the inversion method and half in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  We're on the fence about which way gives a more reliable seal, despite what the NCHFP says (our percentage of bad seals has been very low in both cases), so we're doing an experiment!
Now that's some real Katie marmalade!  Voulez-vouz emboucher avec moi?

What's your favorite marmalade recipe?  Do you have another way for processing frozen citrus fruits?  Let us know in the comments section below!