Saturday, 21 January 2012

Preserving tradition


Its that time of year again,the Casa Rosada garden is yielding a ripe and fragrant harvest of Sevillian citrus fruit - It´s marmalade time. I put this weekend aside for the massive task, and I mean massive.My advice to anyone embarking on marmalade making is to make sure you have enough time, patience and a boxed set of something as epic as Wagner´s Ring Cycle or the entire soundtrack of Glee seasons 1 to 3,to give you a musical accompaniment while you work.My prep work alone was 3 hours. 

and this was just the beginning

At one point in my de-pipping and fine slicing I had a real Julia Child moment.She had tears welling up in her eyes from the mound of chopped onions in front of her, I had stinging sensations from the acidic citrus juice getting into small hacks and wounds in my fingers.Make double the quantity that the recipe says I implore you.This will ensure you wont have to do the job again for a while.Home made marmalade has a shelf life of two years.I must be bonkers.Is there any good reason these days for making your own marmalade?What a chore,what a bore.No wonder my dear mother was always in a jam every summer,when she wasn´t in a pickle making chutney.More of that story later,Kirsty.Anyway I reluctantly got on with the job and sought consolation that I was conserving winter sunshine in a jar for those days when the blistering sun is unbearable.Here at Casa Rosada the yearly job has to be done to keep our coming season´s guests toast topped with this tastiest of traditional toppings.

My other suggestions of what to do with an over abundant harvest of Seville oranges....
Madeira and Seville orange chutney
Seville Orange curd
Ruth Watson´s Seville orange chutney

I have just cleared out the larder and here I am filling it up again with lines of sterilised jars. Oh well if needs must.

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