Wednesday 7 May 2008

Making marmalade (and being in the garden)

Suddenly it's the middle of the week, and I feel like I'm still in long weekend mode. Blissful sunny days, it feels like we've dived straight in to summer and left any signs of spring behind. Socks have been discarded, shoes kicked off and flipflops are the footwear of the day. I even took my boots off on the beach and paddled up to my knees at the weekend. This was not in the plan, I'm a complete chicken about going in the sea, but the pup lost his favourite ball so I had to go in to help. Alas, to no avail! But I did rather enjoy myself once I acclimatised myself to the general chilliness.

Most of the weekend was spent digging up my garden. I've lost count of the dandelions I've dug up, and some of those long tap roots eluded me at their very tips so no doubt they'll make another appearance. I had plenty of help from the pup, but he was usually shifting the soil in the wrong direction, and showering me with muck in the process. Most of the garden is now covered with large sections of donated green carpet (at least it's green!). My little patch is only the width of the house, about twelve and a half foot, by about forty foot, with a patio area and the newly-cleared ground and a dilapidated shed. I have an internal courtyard as well, so I am spoilt for a wee town cottage.

The other thing I got around to was making a batch of seville orange marmalade. I bought some oranges back in early february, when they're only available for a few weeks. Too busy at the time, I stuck them in the freezer for another day. In fact, freezing them helps soften the peel and you often get a better marmalade.

The recipe I use, which came direct from the growers in Seville, suggests soaking the peel for two days before you make the marmalade, and it's worth it. Not only is the recipe delicious, it is very consistent - if anyone would like a copy leave me your email in the comments.

So now it's labelled and in the store cupboard, though I somehow think it won't be enough to keep me going until next year! Next up will be some jam from local strawberries.


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Not sure if we ever get the real Seville oranges, but I'd still love to have the recipe...kjalics at rocketmail dot com

Pipany said...

Ooh send some my way diana. We didn't make any this year for the first time in ages and only have two jars left from last year. Wish I had thought to freeze the oranges - you'' have to remind me next year!!!

Gorgeous weather which disappeared here today and now it's wet and grey; hope it's back for the weekend xx

Colette said...

Can you please post the recipe for the marmalade. I would love to make it.

Anonymous said...

I am making Seville orange marmalade for the first time as I have managed to find Seville oranges in California this year. I would appreciate it if you could please send me the recipe. Most recipes I have seen on the internet do not include pre-soaking the orange peel.

Not sure if you are reading comments to older posts; so I am going to send you an email as well.