July 15, 2015

Care Bear Stares, Hammer Pants & Great Gran’s Marmalade Jam

Marmalade Jam - A recipe by Anna Johnston's Great Gran - www.shenannagans.com

Very seldom does the bro put in a special request for me to make something, but last week when a 5kg box of the most gorgeous brown navel, a new variety orange arrived from my Instagram pal Rina, he asked ‘Will you make me some of that Marmalade jam we had as kids?’.  How could I refuse?

As Great Grans Marmalade Jam bubbled away on the stove top, the homely citrus smells filled me with nostalgic memories of my childhood and growing up in the 1980’s.

Did you grow up in the 80’s? If you did, happy adventuring down memory lane.

Marmalade Jam - A recipe by Anna Johnston's Great Gran - www.shenannagans.com

This delightful warming orange marmalade is a classic spread for a winter slice of toast.

When was the last time you said ‘What you talkin bout Willis? Were you a Care Bear kid? Remember their awesome belly magic that could defeat enemies and heal people with light that radiated from their tummy symbols. And what about ol mate Big Bird being the only one who could see Snuffleupagus?

Remember jumping on your bike (Melvern Star with plastic handle bar streamers and spokey-dokes) and disappearing for the entire day without a care in the world, a phone in your pockets, helmet on your heads or shoes on your feet. Fearlessly riding uncharted single tracks through forests, scaling fences, and climbing trees with no way of the parentals contacting or even knowing where you were (and that was totally OK).

Marmalade Jam - A recipe by Anna Johnston's Great Gran - www.shenannagans.com

Make breakfast extra special with this home-made marmalade spread!

What about sitting on your dad’s lap and manning the steering wheel or riding home on the back of the ute/pickup truck with the dogs, wind whistling through your mullet style locks, remember when mullets were cool? Dressed to impress in fluro, your heat sensitive hypercolour T-Shirt and Hammer Pants. Ahhhh, it really was a wondrous time to grow up.

As for the jam, the bro said it put all those store-bought marmalades to shame. It tasted like sunshine in my mouth, it was so fresh, and the flavour was out of this world. It was delicious, and tasted just like the one Gran used to make.

I’d love to know, do smells trigger fond memories for you? What do you remember most from the 80’s? And, did you own a heat sensitive hypercolour T-Shirt and Hammer Pants?

Moms Marmalade (5) - shenANNAgans

What about an aromatic marmalade glaze for your Christmas in July ham?

Preparation time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Cooking time:  1 hour 45 minutes

8 large oranges
1kg white sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2.5lt cold water

Step1: Use a sharp knife to remove ends from oranges (leave the skin on). Cut in half lengthways, then thinly slice crossways. Place into a large heavy-based saucepan, and submerge in 2.5lt of cold water. Allow to stand overnight to infuse

Step 2: Simmer fruit until soft – Around 1hour

Step 3: Stir in the sugar and lemon juice

Step 4: Boil rapidly until setting point (To test if mixture is at setting point, place a saucer in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. Spoon a little marmalade onto the saucer. Return saucer to the freezer for 2 minutes or until marmalade is cold. Touch with your finger to see if it is set and gel-like. If not, continue cooking, testing every 5 minutes.) Around 20 minutes, however I advise keeping an eye on the jam from 10 minutes as pectin can be tricky

Step 5: Remove marmalade from heat. Set aside for 5 minutes. Thoroughly wash preserving jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse. Drain upside down on a rack. Stir marmalade to evenly distribute fruit. Ladle into jars, seal and turn upside down for 2 minutes. Turn upright and set aside until cooled. Label, date and store in a cool, dark place.


The jam turned out a little darker due to the brown/green coloured skin of the oranges
It made 10 x 250g jars that are best refrigerated and eaten, not stored for the winter.

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Nathan - August 10, 2016 Reply

I’ve never tried making jam before but this looks delicious. And I love your packaging– it’s so nice!

Eloise - August 10, 2016 Reply

First thing comes to my mind when I read the word marmalade is the song of Christina Aguilera,entitled Lady Marmalade. 😛 And I wish I lived in the 80’s as a teen but I am still soo little so can’t remember much. Your marmalade recipe looks divine, indeed marmalade is great for breakfast and a lovely presents for special occassions like Christmas. 🙂 

Yang - August 10, 2016 Reply

looks delicious, homemade jam is always the best! Did not grow up in the 80s, but would love to try out the recipe:)

Evelyne CulturEatz - August 10, 2016 Reply

Brown oranges? And oh the memories you brought up with the 80s flashback. I have a gram recipe too as an 80s memory. Yours look fab and will have to try it.c

Rosemarie of Travel and Beyond - August 10, 2016 Reply

I am a Carebear kid!! I loved Grumpy Bear, he made me laugh! And boy do I love anything homemade. I also loved watching the Smurfs. Which character did you like? I somehow always loved watching scenes with Gargamel’s cat… I think he was called Azriel.

Sahar - August 10, 2016 Reply

The recipe looks promising! I haven’t tried making maramalades ever!

Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong - July 31, 2015 Reply

You know.. Ever since I watched Paddington the bear, I wanted to make my own Marmalade.. 😀 And this looks absolutely spot on.. So gonna make this.. Thanks for sharing Anna!! 🙂

    Anna - August 1, 2015 Reply

    Paddington Bear…. YES!!!! *smiles Hope you enjoy, its really simple and you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t make it sooner. Thanks for stopping by lovely Arpita. x

Elizabeth - July 28, 2015 Reply

Hello, I’ve been a bit behind with my blogging after my holiday in Melbourne and for some reason I’m not getting notification when you post a blog??? Not sure? ANYWAY! This is gorgeous… I only marmalade I make is the one my nana taught me and it is very similar to this one 🙂 thanks for sharing, very spesh babe! Liz xx

    Anna - July 29, 2015 Reply

    Totes understand Liz. Your Melbourne adventures would have been hard to come down from.
    I sent you an email re blog notifications. Thanks for letting me know.
    Nana’s/Grandma’s/Gran’s are the BEST! Glad you enjoyed.
    Big hugs and happy week ahead. xox

Cakelaw - July 27, 2015 Reply

Homemade jam is the best – definitely sunshine in a jar.

    Anna - July 28, 2015 Reply

    It was so yummy! Making another batch on the weekend. Mmmm! 🙂

Jan (A gluttonous wife) - July 26, 2015 Reply

Hahaha thanks for the nostalgia Anna!!! Wasn’t it a carefree childhood back in those days (I sound bloody ancient!!!) What about going to the corner store blocks from you house with a hand written note that the shop keeper would fill for your mum!! and buying lollies with the change and getting a bag full for a few cents…..I could keep going….but must say this marmalade sounds delicious and am curious to try the brown navels. Cheers, Jan x

    Anna - July 26, 2015 Reply

    Most welcome! I was giggling the way I found myself saying things like ‘back in my day…..’ Haha! I do remember going to the corner store with a note from the parentals, and YES… I loved coming home with a giant bag of lollies from 20cents. Those were the days.
    The jam is amazing and really tasty with the brown navels. They came from a farm in Leeton, NSW. Not sure you can find them in stores yet.
    Happy weekend Jan. xox

Norma Chang - July 23, 2015 Reply

What a wonderful big sister you are. How fortunate to have your Great Grans Marmalade Jam recipe it looks divine and so easy to make. Will it freeze well?

    Anna - July 23, 2015 Reply

    It was lovely to be cooking a recipe that has been in the family for ever, the bro sure loved it too. 🙂

    Hmmmm… You know I have never actually frozen jam before, it normally doesn’t hang around long enough to mould or turn. But I would think like most things, if stored properly, it would freeze fine. You may need to allow to defrost without aid of the microwave etc as further cooking would make it crystallise or turn into a rock. Happy jamming lovely Norma. 🙂

Angela @ Food Angel - July 23, 2015 Reply

I grew up more in the 90’s than 80’s, so I’m a little fuzzy on some of these early memories, but yessss to disappearing on my bike with my little bro for hours and it being completely safe!! Miss those days for sure! 🙂 P.S. Is that a Gilmore Girls quote in your “about”? Talk about memories- love!! I was the same age as Rory 🙂

    Anna - July 23, 2015 Reply

    Care bears and all day bike adventures seem to be the general theme for 80’s & 90’s kids. I miss those days too. #suchfun

    YAY….. A fellow Gilmore Girl fan. Rory & Lorelie for the win!

Cailee - July 23, 2015 Reply

Awwww!! What a fun post! …and I wasn’t big on care bears cuz I’m a 90s baby… Build a Bear was big for me! 🙂 Such fun memories!

    Anna - July 23, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Cailee! Glad you enjoyed. 🙂
    Build a Bear, now that sounds FUN! You create your perfect teddy bear? Wonder if that is still a thing?!

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - July 22, 2015 Reply

The aroma of coffee and toasted french bread trigger so many great memories of my maternal grandmother and her kitchen. It transports me back home, a place of happiness.
Glad to read your childhood memories, Anna… Always treasure them all… as well as your great grandmother marmalade recipe.

    Anna - July 23, 2015 Reply

    Oh how lovely Denise, thats beautiful. Hopefully you get to experience those lovely memories often. 🙂

    And I will, I didnt realise just how many great things there was about my childhood until I wrote this post. Holding tight to those memories for sure.

Tim UrbanDuniya - July 22, 2015 Reply

I do have some memories of the 80s, but I’m more into the 90s myself. But I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to try this marmalade!!

Personally, I love reminiscing about the 90s… boy/girl bands, cargo pants, the revival of flared jeans (oh God), tamagotchis (not that I was ever into that), chia pets, Friends, Will and Grace… shall i stop now? :p

Hope you’re doing well – this is a happy post 🙂 See you down under in a few months 🙂

    Anna - July 23, 2015 Reply

    Wait… Are you a 90’s kid Tim? Nooooooo!

    Haha! YES…. Cargo pants & flared jeans, remember those hideous soft denim tincil jeans? Awwww…. Backstreet Boys, Hanson & En Vogue. LOL! OMG… Will & Grace & Friends, I just finished re-watching, still a classic TV series. Nooooooo… dont stop, the 90’s were marvelous too.

    Bit over the winter, but doing swell my friend. Looking forward to a good catch up in a few months. x

sherry from sherrys pickings - July 22, 2015 Reply

brown navels? have never heard of them nor seen them. how very interesting. did they change the flavour of the marmalade do you think? or are they just oranges in another coat?:)

    Anna - July 23, 2015 Reply

    Yes, they are a new variety orange, they were sweeter than a normal orange which softened the bitterness that you would find in a traditional marmalade. It also made the jam a little darker. I will have to make a normal batch and compare the two. 🙂

Sue - July 22, 2015 Reply

Anna in the 80’s I was busy raising small children so yes there were Care Bears and muppets and Sesame Street. Haha you took me back in time that’s for sure!

    Anna - July 22, 2015 Reply

    Such a great era to grow up in, the 80s rocked! And lucky you being able to enjoy the Care Bears and Muppets and Sesame Street too.
    Good you enjoyed that trip down memory lane. 🙂

Rosemarie of Travel and Beyond - July 21, 2015 Reply

I was a Care Bear kid! My favorite was Brave Heart Lion… but I also loved Gargamel in the Smurfs!

    Anna - July 22, 2015 Reply

    AWESOME!!! Yessss….. Brave Heart Lion was the BEST! 🙂

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - July 21, 2015 Reply

Looks good Anna! And yes I grew up in the 80’s and owned hypercolour attire…shame is my name!

    Anna - July 22, 2015 Reply

    Hahahaha Jem! No way, own you your 80’s awesome lady. Hypercolour was/is COOL! Lol! 🙂

Liz - July 21, 2015 Reply

Your marmalade sounds amazing! And what memories it must evoke with every inhalation 🙂 And had to giggle at “What you talkin’ about Willis?” as my kids have heard me say that numerous times, but I’m not sure they’ve ever seen the show.

    Anna - July 21, 2015 Reply

    Thank you kindly lovely Liz! 🙂 The jam went down a treat in my household that’s for sure.
    LOL! I didn’t realise how often I said ‘What you talkin’ bout Willis?’ either. Funny the things that stick huh?

Krista - July 20, 2015 Reply

I’m smiling so big after reading this, Anna. How hilarious! 🙂 You brought back such great memories today. 🙂

    Anna - July 21, 2015 Reply

    BEST!!!! 🙂 I love that I made you smile Miss Krista. 🙂
    It sure was a fun post to write.

Caroline @ Shrinking Single - July 20, 2015 Reply

Love the idea of sunshine in my mouth. Fabulously evocative. Duran Duran for me too! I saw them live at the Canberra stadium. Ah for the days of big hair!

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    Tasting sunshine was entirely the reason I gobbled a jar of jam up in a week…. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. LOL!
    WOAH, awesome re Duran Duran performing at the stadium, and big hair, think of all the time we could save being able to head to work with crazy locks. 🙂

Eileen @ The Food Avenue - July 20, 2015 Reply

Those were definitely simpler days! Loved this post! I was definitely a care bears kid!

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    They really were!
    Care Bears seem to have been the chosen toy of the 80’s. 🙂

Agness - July 18, 2015 Reply

What a great recipe. This jam would go well with a fresh bread and baguette. Can’t wait to try it!

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    Ohhhhh YEAH Agness, it works a treat with fresh bread. All the deliciousness! 🙂

Jasline (Foodie Baker) - July 18, 2015 Reply

Can’t wait for the citrus food season to come again so that I can make some of this jam, looks so delicious!

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    Guess that is one awesome thing about winter, the citrus fruits are amazing. Hope you enjoy the jam if you make it Jasline. It sure went down a treat in my household. 🙂

Ala - July 18, 2015 Reply

AW, Anna! I loved this post so so so much. Not an 80’s baby…but close enough that I can identify with so much of this post. I love the trip down memory lane–and I still use a Care Bear blanket (it’s all tattered and ratty though–darn!). This jam has got to be absolutely amazing. Saving this–cheers!

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    Nawh… Thank you SO much Ala, that is very kind of you to say. 🙂

    Teehee, those care bears did a good few decades, I LOVE that you still have a tattered blanket, that’s brilliant.

    Hope you enjoy the recipe. Happy week to you lady!

Bam's Kitchen - July 17, 2015 Reply

Your spoiling your bro… but that is what sisters are for anyways, right! Lovely jam and homemade is so delicious that you don’t realise how good it is until you have to eat some of that store bought stuff… oh my word. I was an outdoor girl when I was young but one of my fondest childhood food memories is of my dad’s jam. Seriously delicious! You name it and he made it. I never ate jam from the grocery store until I move to Asia…

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    Haha! The Little Bro asked me to make him steak on the weekend. Cheeky! 🙂

    I know right, I had forgotten just how amazing home made jam was, wont be buying it again any time soon.

    Its wonderful that so many have such fond memories attached to jam. And lucky you having a jam making dad. Bet it was a shock eating store bought stuff after having eaten top quality all your life.

Mabel Kwong - July 17, 2015 Reply

Awwww. A trip down memory lane post! It sounded like you had quite an outdoors kind of childhood, very rough and tumble, going out on the bike and having fun. I grew up in the 90s, close enough to the 80s and Care Bears was a big part of my childhood. So was Sesame Street and Play School.

The smell of mangoes always brings back those hot summer days when I was a kid in Melbourne. So does the smell of jelly, believe it or not. Mum used to make blue jelly at home in the summer to help us cool off 😀

That jam looks beautiful and I’m sure it tasted delicious as it sounds. My favourite jam/marmalade flavour is blackcurrent but I’m sure I’ll change my mind once I try yours 😉 Love your photography in this post too. I hope you are well big sis. Keep warm and hugs from me to you!

    Anna - July 17, 2015 Reply

    Yes, my brother and I were really lucky, we used to disappear for hours on our bikes, build forts and battle out and claim our turf, it sure was a different world to the way many/most city kids lived, that’s for sure. Ha… I forgot about Play School, there was also Mr Squiggle. 🙂

    Thats AWESOME, I love that your Momma made blue jelly, very hip of her. 🙂 And totally agree re the mango, minus the Melbourne bit.

    The jam was/is so delicious. Blackcurrant is ace too. Will have a look and see if Gran had a recipe for berry jam, if yes, Ill whip up a batch for you.

    Thanks little one re the photos, they turned out fab.

    Have a rippa weekend, squishy hugs headed your way. xoxox

Liz Posmyk (Good Things) - July 17, 2015 Reply

Ah, you spring chickens! Love this Anna, would be great on my morning toastie! xx

    Anna - July 17, 2015 Reply

    Teehee! It was an epic time to be a kid, I mean Hammer Pants… Really one of our finer fashion items. LOL!

    And yes, it is so amazingly yummy on piece of homemade toasted bread. Mmmm!

Gourmet Getaways - July 17, 2015 Reply

Mmmm…smells good this end!!

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

    Anna - July 17, 2015 Reply

    Was/Is super tasty too. 🙂
    Happy weekend lovelies. xo

Mandy - July 16, 2015 Reply

Anna, darling, I love your title to this post! I was a teenager in the 80’s so missed a little of what you talk about but marmalade, well homemade, you can’t beat that!
Have a beautiful happy day hon.
Love and hugs to you across the oceans.
🙂 Mandy xoxo

    Anna - July 17, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Miss Mandy! 🙂
    Oh being a teen in the 80’s would have been epic, all that hair and big earrings and denim and fluro. Such fun!
    The jam was ace, almost finished my jar in a week. 🙂
    Wishing you a super weekend my lovely. Hugs and loves. xox

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - July 16, 2015 Reply

The 80’s really was an amazing time! Says the person who is listening to 80s music right at this moment 😀

    Anna - July 17, 2015 Reply

    Haha! Brilliance. I can totes picture you rocking out to Beastie Boys. 🙂

Kris - July 16, 2015 Reply

Dude, do you know how hard it is to not eat all the Jam in 1 week.
Its just like I remember, but better somehow 🙂 I like how its more candied this Jam then others and has nice big bites of peel in it. Perfect amount of sweet and tart.
Good flash backs reading through this weeks adventures. My favorite memories will always be sitting on the tool box in the back of the Ute coming back from the tip. The best.

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    Haha Nizz. I absolutely know how hard it is to not eat the entire batch of jam in a week. I put a good dint in my stash too. 🙂
    Thats the best, I love that you are enjoying it. #metoo I think its the darker oranges that has changed the product slightly, or maybe I slightly overcooked it. There is a real art to jamming. 😀
    YES, such good memories of riding on the back of the ute, I liked driving, sitting on dads lap driving home from the farms a lot too, especially because it meant we got fire engines or some sort of soft drink.

hassan - July 16, 2015 Reply

Hey my good friend!
Do ya like to use rose water? Lemon prevents the jam to be sugaring.

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    Hey buddy!
    No, I have never used rose water in jam making before, I wonder if it would get lost? Will do some research and see.
    Lemon juice is an acid, so it works to form insoluble fibers, which promotes the gel to form by absorbing juice. The jam cannot turn to jelly without the acid. But in saying that, a citrus jam, like the marmalade can go without the lemon and it will still work. 🙂

Jess - July 16, 2015 Reply

As a child of the 90’s (born in 1990) I fondly remember the Carebears and Big Bird.
Some other favourites of mine included Noddy, Gumby and the Rugrats!
So many great children’s movies out when we grew up from the Lion King (94) to The Little Mermaid (89).
I have very fond memories of my great grandmother cooking jam drop biscuits and all things yummy when I went over as a child. To this day, I wish I had some of her recipes.
Great post Anna and I can’t wait to make some yummy marmalade – thanks for the recipe sweets! x

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    Holy moly…. you were born in 1990 too?! Mind blown. LOL!
    Haha! Care Bears and ol mate Big Bird, not sure what I ever enjoyed about Big Bird.
    Lion King is one of my alllllllll time faves, and The Little Mermaid, I have the book. So good!
    Jam drop biscuits = YES! I love them. What a shame you don’t have any of her recipes? I was lucky Mom enjoyed cooking and inherited all the cook books.
    Thanks mate, I REALLY appreciate your support. You are amazing. Big SQUISHY hugs. xoxo

Hannah - July 16, 2015 Reply

I just missed out on the 80’s however the 90’s were still a blast! I still have my Care Bear 🙂 I got to drive the ute sitting on Pa’s lap or standing on the tray when it was my sisters turn to drive. I did the fence and tree climbing until I fell out…

Smells do trigger memories. Especially kitchen smell of my Gran!

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    I always forget you are a 90’s kid. You’ve def got a good chunk of the 80’s in you. 🙂
    You still own a care bear? Which one? I had a huge collection… Bedtime & Birthday Bear ring a bell.
    And YES, how fun was driving and riding on the back of the ute? And I thankfully never fell out of the tree, did go flying off the back of a motorbike once, landed on my feet tho, so I wasn’t scarred by the experience. LOL!
    Its kind of cool the way food can bring us right back to that time we stood in the kitchen with Gran 20+ years ago.

      Hannah - August 6, 2015 Reply

      Wish Bear. I’ll show you one day.

      Also really excited for my crumpets tomorrow so I can have some of this delicious jam!

        Anna - August 7, 2015 Reply

        Excellent, I look forward to this very much! 🙂
        And WINNING! We ate our jam weeks ago, good you still get to enjoy it.
        PS: Crumpets are soooooo good.

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - July 16, 2015 Reply

Oh, do love the aromas that float around the kitchen when jam or marmalade is cooking – lucky Bro:-)

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    Me too Rachel, and as familiar as the smell was, can’t say I have got my jam on in forever. It was nice to revisit those memories. 🙂

John/Kitchen Riffs - July 16, 2015 Reply

I used to love disappearing on my bike every day when I was a kid. My mom had no idea where I was, and didn’t really need to — things were different then, weren’t they? But food memories never fade, and I can see why your bro wanted this! Lovely jam – thanks.

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    Yeah, that is one of my fondest memories of growing up, my brother and I disappearing for hours, and only returning to eat. I think it is totally different now, I can’t imagine parents allowing kids to disappear like we did, and if they did, the kid would have a mobile. I wonder if kids in the country (Im a country kid) are old school like us?

    Yep, food memories, they never fade. Good or bad! 🙂

    Thanks heaps. Glad you enjoyed.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - July 15, 2015 Reply

I have been thinking about making orange marmalade all week! I was a teenager in the eighties so it was all about Duran Duran for us 🙂

    Anna - July 16, 2015 Reply

    It is definitely jam making weather, hope you get to it. We sure are loving the delicious taste of sun shine on our breakfast toast each morning. And Duran Duran #awesome 🙂

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