Marmalade making took place yesterday afternoon. There are no short cuts with marmalade, no gadget that can really cut down on the amount of chopping, skinning and de-pipping that is required, so although it is fiddly, I also find the methodical rhythm of it relaxing. A play on Radio 4, and a quiet house and I was in my element.
I recently interviewed a marmalade making expert for an article. She told me that the Victorians sometimes put rhubarb in their recipe, so as well as oranges and a lemon, I added a small tray of home grown rhubarb that has been languishing in the freezer for longer than it probably should. I spotted this beautiful leaflet in Oxfam on Friday, so I was armed with tips and tricks for a really good batch.
That citrus smell, tangy and a little bit peppery, as the peels are boiling away to soften, is just amazing. My marmalade guru told me that citrus oils are great for alleviating depression. There's no doubt that it is an uplifting aroma and the colour alone is enough to make you want to dance. In terms of thriftiness, this works out at 65p per jar.
Eight jars labelled and put away (and a big dish of it to eat now).
I am on a gluten free diet again just now, so my next challenge is to find a recipe for a really delicious loaf to smother with butter and home made marmalade.