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As we leave the darkness of winter behind, we celebrate Winter Solstice and the return of the suns warming light.
oranges and winter cap
 The darker days of winter have their purpose as they encourage us to withdraw, reflect and hibernate in a way. These days give us a chance, if we will take it, to notice the things we have done, and appreciate our accomplishments as well as receive insight as to what no longer works for us.  Like stepping back from your garden during the winter to revel in the success of the harvest, as well as take note of what you won’t plant or do next growing season. We can do the same with ourselves if we take the time to go slow, like the garden in winter.
 garden in winter
Now that Winter Solstice is here and we are moving into longer days we can look forward to the warmth and light. We can start acting on those things that were reflected upon.  Like the bulb of a daffodil when the first growth starts. It isn’t seen right away, but it is still growing beneath the soil. Steady and slow with the promise of breaking through and finally feeling the sun again. The beginning of this growth and movement is a wonderful time to celebrate!
 Sunshine!
I’m sharing this Winter Solstice Orange Juice Jelly recipe as a bright reminder and a sweet celebration of the sunshine to come!
oranges and orange juice
This jelly can be made most any time, but I like to make it in winter when many fresh fruits are not their best. You can always get orange juice. I love to use fresh oranges, but sometimes good ones aren’t obtainable. When that is the case I have made this with a good quality orange juice from a carton and even frozen in a can…. It is just as delightful. This is definitely a sugar laden treat. There are ways to make jam and jelly without the sugar, but I like this recipe because it is no fuss and turns out every time.  So a treat it shall be…..sugar and all. A special delight that looks so pretty in the jars, all bright and golden, and tastes like sunshine…..A happy reminder that winter doesn’t last forever.

Winter Solstice Orange Juice Jelly Recipe

  • 4 cups orange juice – about 10 medium-sized oranges (strain juice if using fresh)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. butter (optional)
  • 1 box pectin

  1. Measure exact amount of juice (using a liquid measuring cup) into a large saucepan.oranges and orange juice
  2. Pre-measure exact amount of sugar into a separate bowl.
  3. Stir 1 pkg of pectin (I use Sure-Jell) into saucepan with juice. Add butter. This reduces the foaming during cooking but you don’t have to use it.
  4. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add sugar to fruit/pectin mixture in saucepan all at once. Return to a full rolling boil; boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
  6. Ladle immediately into clean, hot jars. Cover with two piece lids.

The following instructions are for canning if you choose to do it. You canning jars of jellydon’t have to do this part, but you will need to store your jelly in the refrigerator. These are basic instructions, and for more canning details you can get complete instructions inside the package of pectin.

Process in hot water bath in canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars onto clean towel in a draft-free area to cool for several hours or overnight.

Remove bands and make sure all jars sealed. If any are not sealed they can be put in the fridge. The rest can go right into your pantry. But what I like to do is leave them out for awhile to admire them and enjoy the sunshine!

winter solstice scene


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