Friday, 23 January 2015

Marmalade time

Over the weekend I made a double batch of seville orange marmalade.  This meant two kilos of oranges and four kilos of sugar so the kitchen is still very slightly sticky a few days later.  I don't know whether it is just me, but I find marmalade far harder to get right than jam.  All the books say it takes 10 minutes of boiling before the marmalade has reached setting point and virtually very single time I've made it, it takes more like 45 minutes at least.

I used a River Cottage recipe, which was a whole fruit method.  I started with my lovely fragrant seville oranges...

I then simmer the oranges in water for an hour or so until they are soft.

The pips are taken out and the peel is sliced into small slivers
The peel, sugar and water are added with any juice and slowly brought to the boil whilst stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
When it gets to a rolling boil, keep it boiling.  The books all tell me that it should be boiling for 10-15 minutes, but it ALWAYS takes longer than that.

After a lot of boiling, finally I have twelve jars of marmalade. 
In the darkness of midwinter it is lovely to create something bright and warm and glorious.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Back to the grindstone...

Anyone who reads this blog knows that we both are home lovers.  We've put a lot of effort into making our home how we want it and we love doing things at home - watching old films, cooking, sewing, reading, gardening.  We had two whole weeks off for Christmas and had such a lovely time.  We did the social bits, went for lovely walks as well as lots of reading and watching films and obviously a lot of cooking and baking.

Now I'm sat eating the last piece of Christmas cake at my desk at work (having a short lunch) my mind is now yearning to be back at home.  I'm not yearning for Christmas particularly - much as I love that time of year, I don't mind when it is over as I'm excited for the next thing to happen. I just want to be in our cosy home...

Our new sofa (note the patchwork cushion made by me a year or two back!)
Our lovely study where we read/fall asleep
My craft area.  Note the pile of material waiting for me to make it into something

The pile of books I received for Christmas.   Hurray!
I've only finished one of my Christmas books and am reading the A N Wilson biography of Queen Victoria which is really interesting.  I'm also really looking forward to reading 'We Made a Garden' by Margery Fish, which explains how she created a garden from scratch in the 1930s.

I made a rather odd purchase in a charity shop recently.  Its a very small suitcase, possibly used for a musical instrument.  I liked the look of it, but what sold it to me was the old material British Legion Poppy that was hanging off the handle.  Yes, yes I know I have issues!

At least it is Friday and we have a relatively quiet weekend ahead.  Tonight I plan to make some homemade lemonade out of the Christmas leftover lemons and we have lots of dates and nuts to make something out of.   I love weekends!