He Likes Orange Marmalade

Karen Ehman encourages us to pay attention, go out of our way, and do a little something special for our husbands.

Today we welcome a new contributor. Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries is here! I had the pleasure of meeting Karen last summer at the Women Living Well Conference. I absolutely love her in so many ways. – Darlene

I have known my husband over 30 years. Been married to him for nearly 28. But I just found out a fact about him recently.

He likes orange marmalade.

Oh, it’s not that I don’t know his likes and dislikes. I know all about his fondness for running and working out. I’m very cognizant of the fact that he loves smooth jazz music while I much prefer country instead. I know which way he likes his shirts folded and what brand of natural crunchy peanut butter he thinks is best. Ask me his favorite author and I’ll bet I get it right. Quiz me about his favorite color and I’ll be sure to tell you it is hunter green.

But the fact that he loves orange marmalade has never come up in our conversations over the last three decades.

Todd has never mentioned it. He’d been eating plenty of my homemade freezer jams for decades: strawberry, spiced peach, strawberry-banana, raspberry, even strawberry-rhubarb some years.

Never once did he reveal his love for the peel-laden, citrus-y delight that is orange marmalade. But one day, the subject of this jam came up and he mentioned how much he enjoys it. We were at a restaurant and had ordered pancakes for breakfast. When the basket of jams and jellies was passed he dug through the bottom looking very diligent. I questioned what he was looking for and he replied “Orange marmalade. It is my favorite.”

I took note of this fact and tucked it away in my brain. I know how much I love little out of the ordinary surprises especially when someone in my life takes the time to notice what I like and then gives it to me on a random day.

So someday very soon, I’ll make sure his breakfast not only includes a jar of this confection, but a sleeve of white English muffins to go with it—his favorite way to enjoy his beloved-treat.

What little-known treat does your husband enjoy that they haven’t tasted in years? Ask him. Go on a trip down memory lane and talk about your favorite childhood candies or his favorite flavor of cake his mom used to bake when he was growing up or some other special treat that he hasn’t tried in years that he might love to taste once again.

Yes. Do a little digging. (Stealthily now) And then?

Go out of your way to surprise him with a random special treat.

Next summer, along with mashing berries for my jam, I’ll be trying my hand at home-canned orange marmalade.

It will be a new venture. I’ll have Smuckers on stand-by.

I just might need to call for back-up. :-)

Karen Ehman

confettiNOTE: For more creative ways to love on your family, friends and coworkers, check out Karen’s latest book: Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Rund Guide to Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions. It contains over 200 ideas and recipes for celebrating holidays, holy days, and even the random every days.




  • Liz R.

    I love Karen, my first encounter was at Hearts at Home Convention last year! Amazing woman! Thank you Karen for sharing.

    I have been married to my husband for almost 7 years and in this passed week out of the blue, I softly touched my husband back and asked how his day was. It never dawned on me that would make him feel so special inside. So, you are right on it doesn’t matter how big or small our gestures are to our husbands but remembering those things mean a lot to our husbands. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Elissa P

    Thanks for this Karen. It is so important for us to know what our husband love and want in the relationship. My husband is a big football fan, Cowboys. I am not so much, but I try to watch with him and ask questions about the plays. I am even starting to understand most of what’s going on.

    However, when I ask him questions about the games, his eyes light up and he cannot wait to share all with me. It’s little things like this that keep friendship alive.


  • Sandra Libby

    After 13 years of marriage, I had no idea that my husband’s favorite cookie was oatmeal chocolate chip. I just found out 2 weeks ago! And I was only making them because I bought the wrong oats so I had to do something with them, right?!?! All these years I had assumed it was chocolate chip. At first, I felt awful that I didn’t know that little fact but then I was encouraged to realize there will always be something new to learn about my man!

  • Eden

    My husband and I just got married this past June, and I’m realizing that I have a lot to learn about his likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to food. One day I got it into my head that he loved oatmeal raisin cookies, so I made some from scratch. When he came home and wasn’t in ecstasy over them or chowing down, I said that I thought he liked them. He said they were one of his favorite cookies, but he wasn’t a cookie fan in general. LOL I still have a lot to learn 🙂

  • Michele

    Thank you, Karen, for ministering what God lays on your heart and encouraging so many. I love hearing from all of you women who share and encourage through your specific ministries. Sometimes it really is the little things that make life big:). I have a wonderful citrus-y tangy recipe for rhubarb marmalade that was passed on from my mother-in-law that is quite easy to make and delivers all the wonderful taste tantalizing flavours of the golden sunny version, but it is a softer spread with a much darker colouring. Tasting is believing:)


    2 oranges and 1 lemon
    4 lbs. rhubarb (14 cups)
    1 lb seedless raisins
    5 lbs sugar (10 cups)

    Cut oranges and lemon in eight pieces, remove seeds, leave on peel and grind them fine in a food chopper, cut rhubarb into small pieces and combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel pot and let stand an hour.

    Boil together until thick. Stir occasionally.

    Pour into sterilized jars. Makes 7×1 pint jars.

    I’m sure the raisins can be left out if you or your husband are not fans:) i might sub in a little more rhubarb for that option, but I’ve always used the raisins.

    All the best with whatever version you hop into the kitchen with:)


  • Gail

    I had to laugh at the caption about loving orange marmalade! My Dad did too! When serving at a forest camp one year and his turn was in the kitchen, he thought it would be a treat for the men working there and bought a 5 gal. bucket of it! The men did not appreciate it as much as he did. One day it disappeared! ha Thanks for this, it has good advice, but my favorite was reading how someone else liked Orange Marmalade as much as my Dad did. I am sure there were many men there who would have been glad to share with your husband!