New Years Marmalade

It’s the time of the year for marmalade, the Seville oranges have been in the shops and thoughts are directed to making a years supply of marmalade. The reason for this sudden desire to slice 6 pounds of oranges is two fold. It tastes better and it’s cheaper!

For several years now I’ve put the oranges in a food processor to chop them, but this year I decided to slice by hand. Oh my word, I was so surprised how pleasant it was to sit and slice the oranges by hand (with a nice serrated steak knife) in the quiet. A very simple life thing to do, and it was easier to extract the pips too!

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Once the sliced oranges have soaked over night they are meant to be simmered to reduce the liquid by a third. When I had heated the the water in the pan and added the sugar I realised I hadn’t done that!!!

I managed to rescue it by taking some liquid out, adding more sugar and a bottle of liquid pectin. Here on my pantry shelf are twenty jars of marmalade. I now feel like Moomin Mama and I have a very happy husband!

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It tastes exceptionally good too ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yellow Chair

I am very happy to report the continuation of furniture preservation in my garden.

I now have a yellow chair! I decided that this chair couldn’t be left any longer and needed attention….

Yellow Chair 1

and I am quite happy to tell you I painted it yellow.Yellow Chair 2
I am really enjoying the brightness in my garden as the sunshine has been very limited lately, so now I have my very own bit of sunshine ๐Ÿ™‚

Blood Orange Marmalade

When I saw the blood oranges were in season on the market stall I like to use (nice un-packaged fruit and veg) I thought I would try making some marmalade with them to see what it was like. I should have worked out the costings so I could share with you how little you can pay, but I forgot to record it so I might add it later.

They are not very attractive are they?ย Blood orange 1
..but look how pretty they are inside!Blood orange 2
I chop my oranges in my food processor for quickness. ..Blood orange 3
….then the marmalade is all pulpy and nice.Blood orange 4
I did have some trouble with the recipe I found, so had to do some adaptation from my normal Seville orange marmalade recipe to get it right. Trust me, if you have a go at preserving and it doesn’t work out, it could be the recipe and not you!

Here it is, yum! It’s very perfumed compared to other marmlade I’ve made. I collect and re-use jars, keeping the pretty jars for me, they look nice in the pantry, and fill some plainer jars so I have some to give away ๐Ÿ™‚
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Seville Orange Marmalade

Woohoo – I actually made my marmalade last week ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily Seville oranges do last quite a while if kept in a cool place. My husband ย feels much happier now that the pantry is stocked with marmalade!

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I’ve posted the recipe before, so if you want it, just look in my tags. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chutney

I Love preserving and I hate waste.

Everyone knows who grows them, that courgettes are prone to be very prolific and grow very big very quickly. Chutney is one of the answers to not wasting them (another is chickens, they are happy to eat what you can’t manage!) This recipe is inspired by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Glutney’. Basicly you can through most things in and it comes out great! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s Hugh’s recipe with my pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

1kg courgettes, unpeeled if small, peeled if huge, cut into 1cm dice (or use pumpkin later in the season)
1kg red or green tomatoes, scalded, skinned and roughly chopped (or 1kg plums, stoned and chopped)
1kg cooking or eating apples, peeled and diced
500g onions, peeled and diced
500g sultanas or raisins
500g light brown sugar
750ml white-wine or cider vinegar, made up to 1 litre with water
1-3 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
For the spice bag
1 thumb-sized nugget of fresh or dried ginger, roughly chopped
12 cloves
12 black peppercorns
1 (generous) tsp coriander seeds
A few blades of mace

Put the vegetables and fruit in a large, heavy-based pan with the sultanas or raisins, sugar, vinegar and water, chilli flakes and salt.

Make up the spice bag by tying all the spices in a square of muslin or cotton. Add the spice bag to the pan, pushing it into the middle.

Chutney 1

Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours, uncovered, stirring regularly to ensure it does not burn on the bottom of the pan.ย 

Chutney 2

The chutney is ready when it is rich, thick and reduced, and parts to reveal the base of the pan when a wooden spoon is dragged through it. If it starts to dry out before this stage is reached, add a little boiling water.

Chutney 3

Pot up the chutney while still warm (but not boiling hot) in sterilised jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (essential to stop the vinegar interacting with the metal). Leave to mature for at least two weeks – ideally two months – before serving. ยท

Chutney 4

Warning: Don’t mistake tea spoons for table spoons for the chilli flakes like I did!!! Mind you a nice hot and spicy chutney is nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Greengage Jam

For want of repeating myself on regular intervals, I’ve made my regular greengage jam. Not so many greengages this year, but enough to make a good quantity of jam.

Eating them fresh is like eating little balls of nectarGreengage Jam 1
and eating the jam, ย it’s extremely sweet and something very special!

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Can’t wait till it cools:-)

Dandelion Wine

My dandelion wine has been sitting in the airing cupboard for a while, looking lovely, waiting to be bottled. Today was the day – and a bit of taste testing while processing has made me think it’s going to be a good year ๐Ÿ™‚
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Now Iย knowย what to do with the stringy old rhubarb that’s left over ย in the garden. Yes you’ve guessed it, more wine!
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I’ll let you know what happens next ๐Ÿ™‚