All posts filed under: Preserves

chapter 4: of marmalade and madness

β€œI got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.” DH Lawrence My blues at the start of 2017 weren’t forward-looking (that came later) like DH Lawrence’s. They were defiantly fixed in the present, conjuring memories of the past. I lost someone I loved dearly in January. It was unexpected. And it carved out a hollow space in my heart. Around the same time, I smashed my knee on an icy patch of pavement, making it hard to walk, stand or hobble. It was dark, it was gloomy, it was the deepest patch of winter and I cleaved to it. Wintry Glasgow was a solace. An ever-present, but patient friend. The air was sharp, blustery, harsh. The city didn’t ask anything of me; it practically begged me to stay inside. The winds and rain hit at my window, reminding me it was out there, but telling me to stay put. My world, understandably, became a …

seville orange marmalade

Okay, it might be a little late in the Seville Orange season to be taunting you with marmalade. Actually, it’s passed. But taunt I must. It’s just that good. After all, you can always ignore me now and come back next January and February armed with kilos of those marvellously golden-orange globes. I got so excited when I saw them in the market that I gathered them up by the armful. I think I made it home with around 4kgs, not to mention a few blood oranges and ruby red grapefruits for good measure. I love making marmalade. I’ll just say that now – it will explain everything that is to come. There’s just something so soothing about peeling oranges. The bright, sunshine-scented oils mist in the air, making everything smell hopeful and happy – including me. When making the Seville batch, I wafted about on a orange-scented cloud for days. And then there’s the slow, meditative process of boiling, and stirring. It’s just the perfect activity for when it’s freezing cold, with flurries of …