Satsuma crazy...

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I have thing for these little Satsuma oranges! Every year they pop up atWhole Foodsright before the holidays and we each eat at least our weight in these little gems before they disappear a month or so later. I suppose when you are living in Virginia and the fruit is grown in CA it is probably one of the most "not local" foods this family LOVES. You guys know how I am about eating locally as much as possible. But I do love them.  Not giving them up anytime soon. So this year I discovered a little secret.  Not sure how I missed this?  Really not a "secret" at all...except to a girl living in Virginia very far from a citrus tree. Why did I think this would be so complicated? You can preserve and can Satsuma's!  You can make marmalade! and you can even use the peels to make household cleaners!

Now I have to thank Pinterest and all the lovely folks who have blogged this knowledge before me for all of this wonderful knowledge. I am pretty sure there is "no such thing as and original idea" and I am kindof "ok" with that or I would never have found I could can these gems. Everyone has been pinning lots of citrus goodies this time of year! As always I tried several different recipes and then found my favorite methods and merged them. I am still working on the perfect (pectin not from box) marmalade.  That recipe will be in the February E-Zine coming up!  Be sure to sign up! For this post though I will be keeping it to the canning and the cleaner.

Ready for this ,oh so complicated, canning process? Step one...purchase a crap loads of Satsuma's, or really any kindof Clementine or orange would work.  Really make the checkout lady look at you strange and wonder how you are possibly going to eat that many before they go bad.

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Peel them and separate the peels/oranges into two piles.

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Clean and sterilize your jars and lids. I typically run the jars through the dishwasher and have them hot and ready and place the lids in a little pot of boiling water on the stove top. At the same time I start another pot boiling with: 6cups of water1 or 2 cups of sugar (depends on how sweet you would like your syrup)and 2-3 orange peels

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I stuff those lovely jars full of those sweet little, heavenly oranges...

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I then ladle the boiling syrup into each jar. Add a lid. Place the lids on top of them and give them a good water bath in boiling water for 15 minutes.

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Normally they take about an hour for them to all "pop" the lid once they are out.  Be sure to push down on the center of each lid before you store them away. If that little center spot is still pushable and didn't "pop" (seal) than you have two options.  You can put them back in the water bath for another 10 minutes OR you can just throw that jar in the fridge and make that the first jar your family breaks into.

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The Cleaner

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Remember those peels?

The ones that smells wonderful?  Don't just throw them away! They can be dehydrated and used later in a potpourri pan of bowling water on your stove...throw in some cloves! You could throw some in your garbage disposal and turn it on to clean it and make it smell much better! Or you can put them in a jar and pour vinegar over top of them!

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Let this little gem sit for a few days and then pour off the vinegar that smells like oranges into a spray bottle. Add water and use it as a cleaner!  Such a great disinfectant! It can kill up to 90% of germs.  May not be as potent as bleach but also not toxic so I feel much better about using it around the kiddos. Most people use too much bleach these days and often forget it is a chemical that can actually harm you when used incorrectly. I have actually had friends get "chemical pneumonia" from bleach. If we have a "super  bug" in the house then I would probably break out some bleach water but it is a rare occasion and the vinegar cleaner works wonderfully!  I am planning on trying it in the dishwasher and the washing machine this week. I have a feeling it will be great in the dishwasher!

Do you have any favorite uses or recipes for oranges?  I would love to hear them!  I am quite the orange addict :-)