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Waste (waist?) not…

It’s marmalade time of year. Before I worked so hard (actually, when I had small children and also worked four days a week – the job must have been a lot easier in those days) I enjoyed making marmalade in January when the Seville oranges were around. I was encouraged by my mother-in-law in this pursuit – I’m not sure my own mother ever bothered with preserves other than blackberry jam in September when our local hedgerows were heaving with free produce.

I hunted down the necessary quantity of Seville oranges. Annoyingly* I found them in Waitrose, all packaged (in cardboard, it’s fine) and ready to go, and cleverly teamed with preserving sugar in the display. I made four jars which should last us for months.

I couldn’t find my old preserving pan, which we probably dumped at some point when I thought I’d never get back to such time-consuming activities, so I used a cast-iron casserole dish. This was fine until the mixture caught and burned ever so slightly. This means there are tiny flecks of blackened peel in the final product even after I took out the worst bits. It doesn’t seem to have affected the taste.

The marmalade recipe required just one non-waxed lemon. I could only find a net-full of such lemons, so I had left-overs to use before they rot. I recalled a wonderful lemon pudding a friend had cooked for us last year and dug out a similar recipe. I made it yesterday – enough for 4-6 people I reckon. Has to be eaten hot and does not keep. I gave one generous portion to my husband. I ate all the rest myself – having determined that eating ONLY the pudding for supper would not exceed normal calorific quantities. I had not properly thought it through – although delicious, the amount of sugar was extraordinary. I felt sick for about an hour, then had an enormous craving for something – anything – savoury, so had eat something else after all.

So much for trying to cut down a bit.

*’Annoying’ only because of my romantic ideal of sourcing the fruit from a more ‘local’ place – in this case at best our town-centre market, which in fairness I did try first. I made greengage and plum jam using fruit from our garden last year, but we are not able to grow oranges – yet!

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