Thursday, 10 March 2011

marmalade three

I have had lots of compliments on my marmalade. I like making it, and it feels like time spent with my mother, grandmother and aunt. It is also a great pleasure, to come out as a culinary alchemist. All cooking is magic of a kind, and working with molten sugar produces a very particular golden bounty. My marmalade recipe is here.

I am just starting my last batch of marmalade for this year. In an unexpected last gasp of enthusiasm, I swiped a bag of seville oranges from Sainsbury's in mid February, and have kept them in the fridge, for no good reason, until now. The fruits have been well behaved, and are still good, despite the wait.

My mum got used to waiting, despite seeming an impatient person, trained in part by her five offspring, whose timekeeping was and is both variable and erratic. Within the family, the tardy was referred to as a Late Long. I am a Late Long, and I should have a badge made, to warn to unwary.

Recipes for marmalade, in many of the cookbooks I refer to, often mention that it's best to make marmalade with the first batch of seville oranges that come to town. I have never seen seville oranges until late January. My marmalade baptism was with the last few seville oranges at the bottom of the box at my greengrocer's. I only got them because his regular old (older than me) ladies hadn't come for them, perhaps having fallen victim to a particularly cold snap. My benefit. So most of the marmalade I've made has been with 'old' sevilles, and this last batch is in keeping with my sloppy beginning in the making of same.

The recipe I've been using refers to a given number of oranges, combined with a weight of sugar. However, this last batch are uniformly smaller than those I've used before, of whatever age. I started weighing the oranges this year, and they averaged 120g per orange - these weigh around 100g each. So I'm doing a five for four deal in my calculations.

Older oranges are easier to prep in some ways, because the pith comes away more easily. This makes cutting the peel easier too. I'm just setting the two bowls out now, and will cook and bottle the magic tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment