Given that New Thing # 2 has been put on the back burner awaiting my GP's consent, I thought I'd move swiftly on to the next item on my list - making marmalade. To be honest, I'm not normally a great fan. I usually prefer something a little more savoury if I'm having toast in the morning - marmite or Tartex (a yeast based veggie pate) - but R is a big fan and can happily get through a pot every couple of weeks all on his own. I do make jams and chutneys on occasion, usually when there is a glut of some fruit or other in the garden, but marmalade is a first for me.
I bought a bag of Seville oranges from the supermarket, a lemon and a couple of bags of sugar. It's probably best not to dwell on just how much sugar the recipe states (1.8 kg for just under 1 kg of oranges!). Rather than hunting for a recipe in my cookbooks or on the Internet, I lazily followed the one provided on the bag of oranges. Basically, you juice the fruit (easier said than done; I felt I'd had quite a work out by the end), reserving all pips and pith which go into a muslin bag, and put into a preserving pan, if you have one, with 2 litres of water. A large saucepan will suffice if, like me, you don't have a special pan. The whole lot is brought to the boil and then simmered uncovered for 2 hours. You can go off and do other things whilst enjoying the lovely, fresh smell of oranges pervading the house. After 2 hours, remove the muslin bag and allow it to cool. Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve, and then squeeze the muslin bag (that's why it's best to let it cool!) into the pan until all the sticky goo (for want of a better word) is added. Boil for 15-20 mins, until a setting point is reached and then pot into sterilized jars.
It actually made far more than I thought it would, resulting in a last minute scramble for extra jars. I ended up putting quite a large amount into an old storage jar. Having tasted it, I'm rather pleased. It seems fresher and less sweet than I'm used to (goodness knows how much sugar goes into the shop bought stuff.) and I certainly won't have to buy any more for a while. I'm not sure how economical it is when you take into consideration the cost of the gas as well as the ingredients, but I'm just happy to have completed an item on my list successfully!
The above photo was just me trying to capture the lovely colour but it was quite a grey, dismal day and I don't think I did it justice. I am, however, thrilled skinny that I managed to upload the photos ALL ON MY OWN with no help whatsoever!