If you live in an orange growing climate, you are lucky. If you have citrus trees in your backyard, you have hit the jackpot. There are several different types of oranges and all are sweet. All types need to be firm with no discolored spots on the skin. If some part of the orange feels too soft, it will soon be mush. Don't mess with it or even a part of that orange.
To prepare the jars, they can be washed in a dishwasher if it has a sanitizing cycle. The jars can be left in the dishwasher on a heat cycle. The lids need to be washed and left in the hot water. The canner needs to be filled so that there will be an inch of boiling water over the top of the jars.
If you are only planning to can oranges, you really need a few grapefruit to can with the oranges for better flavor. Grapefruit can be canned by itself but the oranges needs the balance from the grapefruit in the finished product.
Wash the oranges, then peel them. You may peel the orange with your fingers but I like to use a citrus peeler. They look a little like a crochet hook. To use the peeler, hook that hooked end at the point that the stem has been connected with the orange. Pull the hook down the orange all the way to the bottom. Hook the orange again at the same place and bring the hook down the opposite side. You have two more pulls of the hook. Hook it again and pull it down half way between the slit that you have made. Then do the other side. If you then start pulling the points, the orange will peel easier and save your fingernails. NOTE: I like to drop my oranges in boiling water for about 60 seconds first, to make it easier still. The skin will not slide off like it does with other fruits but it loosens the white member from the fruit.
Once the fruit is peeled, separate the oranges and a grapefruit into segments. Pull off any white from the orange. You may use kitchen scissors to cut out the middle white spot in each segment. You can also take out the seeds if you like.
Most people who can use a very light syrup for citrus fruit. It helps keep the sweet taste but doesn't make the fruit heavy.
You will need 10 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Put the water in a saucepan and pour the sugar into the water slowly as it heats up. Bring it to boiling and boil a few minutes until sugar dissolves.
By Mary Belk