Retrograde Marmalade

According to the Farmer’s almanac, between February 6th and 28th this year, Mercury was in retrograde. When Mercury is in retrograde, other planets appear to be traveling backwards through the zodiac (although this is an illusion). Followers of the zodiac warn to leave extra time for travel, remain flexible and don’t sign contracts or buy electronic devices. Although I don’t follow my horoscope or make plans according to the zodiac, there is a soft spot in my heart for astrology. My Mom used to tell me my horoscope and give me tarot card readings when I was a kid, and it always felt fun, like we had a window into the future, or an edge on everyone because we knew what was coming.

So, this year for Valentine’s day, Mike and I decided to make a big batch of marmalade, in hopes that the smell of citrus and warmth from the stove going all day would make our apartment feel tropical and make us forget the never-ending Minnesota winter.


Long story short, the kitchen smelled amazing and was wonderful and warm…for approximately eight hours…and the next day. The marmalade tasted and smelled amazing, but it would not set or even thicken no matter what we did. At about midnight, we began sleeping in shifts while one of us stood at the stove and stirred. At two a.m., we decided to just can it and hope it set once it cooled in the jars. I couldn’t help but feel like Mercury got the best of us when we had to re-open all the jars, cook the marmalade for another three hours, and re-can it the next day.

photo (1)

In the end, it set nicely and it felt (almost?) worth it. Now that it’s been a couple weeks we can laugh about it, and have dubbed this batch “retrograde marmalade.” Here’s some pictures of tattoos and marmalade from the past couple weeks, hope everyone is surviving the winter storms!






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