How We Got A Grapefruit Tree ~ Grapefruit Marmalade


In 2008, we had a “For Sale” sign out on our lawn!  It was a bad time in Silicon Valley and hi tech companies were closing down regularly and laying off a lot of workers.  Unfortunately, the company where Kevin worked also closed down.

Mount Hood
Mount St Helens

We were very fortunate that within a few days, Kevin was offered a job with Web MD but the downside to that was that we would have to move to Portland, Oregon.  I have nothing against Portland except for the weather and maybe the thought of not having a lemon tree in my back yard.

Kevin did accept the job, but because it was still during the school year, I stayed behind with the kids until school finished and got the house ready to sell.


During that Spring Break, the kids and I went to Portland for a week to get a feel of the place.  The day we arrived, it looked like it was the perfect place for us.  80 degree weather…gorgeous market just a few minutes away from where we were staying!! What’s not to like?  Until the warm sunny skies turned to rain the very next day.  And then to hail on the third day, snow on the fourth, thunderstorm on the fifth, and to wrap things up, we went back to beautiful sunny skies on our last day.  We had experienced a whole year of weather in one week!! I guess Portland was showing me what it was all about!  Did I say that was in April??

So we said goodbye to Kevin and came back home and we continued our skype relationship for the next few months.

So what does this have to do with a grapefruit tree?  Well, I’m coming to that.

For Sale
For Sale

I was hoping against hope that we would not find a buyer for our house after that whole weather thing.  Every time a potential buyer would come to view the house, I would give them the evil eye!  And you don’t want to see my evil eye…it’s not pretty at all!  But we did get an offer and that was one of the saddest days of my life!  When Kevin saw how sad we all were, we came to the agreement that Portland was not to be, and I think that was one of  the saddest days of Kevin’s life because he loved and still loves Portland.  But always having the family’s best interest at heart, he packed his things and came back home. He did get to keep his job with Web MD and commuted back and forth for the next four years! Kevin, I don’t know how we can ever thank you for this!

And this is where the grapefruit comes in…

Grapefruit Blossom
Grapefruit Blossom

Kevin loves grapefruit!!  So to commemorate the day of his return, a grapefruit tree was planted!  It’s been over 5 yrs since that awful sign was on our lawn and this year was the first year that Kevin’s been rewarded with fruit!

And when you have grapefruit, you make marmalade!

Now I do not recommend this  recipe unless you really like grapefruit AND marmalade.  It is sweet but also quite bitter.  But funny thing about sweet and quite bitter is that once you take a bite, you can’t help but take another bite, and another, and another!  Vera true this ta’! I was almost not going to blog this recipe because I don’t like grapefruit OR marmalade, but after tasting it, well….you be the judge!

Recipe Source
Recipe Source


I got the recipe from here and tweaked it just a little bit.  I used golden brown sugar instead of granulated sugar and I used Curacao instead of Campari because I did not have any Campari.  I don’t think it made much difference.  I also halved the recipe in case it was a complete flop!



Grapefruit and Curacao Marmalade

Peeled Grapefruit
Peeled Grapefruit

3 pink grapefruits
1/3 c. Curacao
Golden Brown Sugar –about 2 1/2 cups depending on the amount of volume of prepared fruit.

Peel the grapefruit and cut the rinds into 2” pieces. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Drop in the rinds and boil for 1 minute. Drain and discard the water. Repeat two more times using fresh water each time.  When done drain the rinds well.

Taking care to catch the juices, cut the peeled grapefruit flesh into 1” slices and pick out the seeds. Discard the seeds.


Place the chopped fruit and accumulated juices into a food processor fitted with a cutting blade and process for 1 minute, until the mixture is well-chopped and frothy.

Measure the amount of chopped fruit and juices using a large measuring cup.  Return 1 cup of the fruit to the food processor. Pour the remainder into a large heavy pot.

Measure out the same amount of sugar as the total amount of the fruit and juice mixture. Place the sugar in the pot with the fruit.

Get rid of as much pith as you can from the drained rinds

Boiled Grapefruit Rinds
Boiled Grapefruit Rinds

Add the boiled, drained rinds into the food processor with the reserved 1 c. of fruit.  Pulse for two to three minutes until the rinds are cut into small bits.

Stir the chopped rinds into the fruit and sugar mixture in the large heavy pot. Stir in the Curacao.

Bring to a boil, stirring, and reduce heat to maintain a constant simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring gently to prevent scorching and boil-overs. The color will darken as the marmalade thickens.

If you have any doubts you can test the marmalade: put 1 T. on a small plate, put the plate in the freezer for three minutes. The marmalade is ready if it no longer is runny.

Pour into sterilized jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

This recipe makes about 3 small jars.

Bread with Butter and Grapefruit Marmalade
Bread with Butter and Grapefruit Marmalade

8 thoughts on “How We Got A Grapefruit Tree ~ Grapefruit Marmalade”

  1. What a heartwarming story!!! Thanks, Georgina, for the inspiration…I am not into grapefruit much except for the ruby red ones but I may try making your marmalade…yummm!!! ;-)) xoxo

  2. I’m certain I won’t be making the marmalade, but what a great story! And I’m sure it’s delish – I just don’t like being in the kitchen, and yet I’m there waaay too much anyway!

    1. Oh I hear you Dianne…I usually make these kinds of things when the kids are off school when I tend to be more at home than usual. Next jam is going to be the Rose Petal Jam which I make every year. Just waiting for the roses to bloom. That is very easy and quick and does not require any peeling or too much cooking….I love quickies:)

      1. Georgina,

        Is rose petal jam Maltese? My grandmother made it every year. If it is Maltese, that would explain it!

        1. I don’t think that it is. I think rose flavour is mostly Middle Eastern…but Maltese Cuisine is influenced by a lot of different countries and we just adopted it as ours 🙂

  3. oh wow, that was a great story and I secretly hope that you would have moved to portland tho cuz I do love that city and think that you would have loved it too but nothing beats cali for its georgeous weather tho. Granted that I love the Pacific Northwest myself. =) But me too much like Kevin I love love grapefruit anything and would love to try this one, probably extremely delish but bitter?? =)

  4. I do wonder how our lives would’ve turned out if we had moved there. I would probably have loved it too but was too scared to give it a chance. It would have been easy to meet up for a coffee halfway you and me though:) I bet if I had known you then, that you’d’ve convinced me it’s the best place on earth, but I guess I’ll never know!

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