Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Canning citrus & egg review

I've been doing a little bit of canning this week, those tiny mandarin oranges that are in season. What's that? I live in PA and no oranges grow here? Don't I have anything better to do with my time?  Apparently not.  My little guy adores those tiny oranges.  I used to buy the ones at the grocery store marketed to parents, in the little plastic tubs, until I started to notice that every single one of them was manufactured in Asia.  I could not find a single canned orange made in North America or Europe.  And then I started to wonder just exactly how the factories in Asia got all of the pith off of the oranges.  Give it a google and you will read references to things like "chemical process" and "lye solution".  Um, hell no.  No thank you.

So I got out the canning jars and started peeling.  It takes about 3 or 4 mandarin oranges to fill a jelly jar.  Because I read that the sweetness of the solution you can them in has no impact on canning safety, I made a very, very light solution with some of our honey to top off the jars.  

I figure I'll keep doing jars of these while they're in season.  That way I'll have something on those "crap, we're out of fruit" days. 

Also, see that egg?  Apparently all the hens needed was a good public shaming.  One of the hennies has started laying every other day.  And thank goodness, because the next thing I am going to complain about is the organic expensive eggs I bought the other day.  Check this out:

Store egg on the left, home laid egg on the right.  

My chickens aren't free-ranging because the ground is still covered with snow.  They get a mix of  grains from a nearby feed mill along with whatever table scraps I throw at them.  It's not organic, fancy or expensive.  More like "cheap and easy".

The store eggs didn't look or act like normal eggs.  Mixing our eggs for a scramble takes some work, these were like stirring water.  My husband said something to the effect of "why are they that color?" They had no flavor.  Here's the best part: the cats wouldn't even eat them.  I threw out a dozen and a half.  

I am just so regularly disappointed with the quality of food from stores.  It's depressing.  And with our incoming president I don't exactly foresee regulations on big business, GMOs or food safety moving in a direction that is going to make me feel any better about things.  

Just my two cents today.


  1. I feel for you - that's why I am wanting our family (England) to head towards self sufficiency as soon as possible. Great preserving ideas too :)

    1. I've learned that you can't do everything but you do what you can :) It has to be enough or you'll drive yourself crazy.

  2. Ok this probably sounds funny, but here in Australia I've never seen canned oranges - it seems like such a sensible thing! It's probably because we're temperate and have a big citrus growing area in my state, but I was so confused at the start of your post..
    Glad to hear the girls are back at work, mine have been slacking because of the heat. You're completely correct about storebought eggs and produce, it's incredibly expensive for sub par produce

    1. You're so lucky to be in an area where they grow - I bet they taste amazing right off of the trees!

  3. i love any satsumas or other small citrus and at the moment I eat at least four a night, I think I'm addictied. I'd never even thought about canning them. Did you do it in the water bath or pressure canner?

    1. Water bath for 15 minutes. I couldn't find anything in my books so I went here:
      It was probably the easiest thing I've canned. Give it a try!