Saturday, 14 March 2015


To say that Bill has a specific habit at breakfast time doesn't begin to describe how predictable he is: if it's there, he'll have toast with a thick layer of margarine and an even thicker layer of marmalade. But not just any marmalade. Contrary to his usual sweet tooth, he prefers reduced-sugar marmalade. Which of course costs four times the cheapest option, but I have looked for sales and stocked up and just lived with his habit. Until Vivien told me that Lakeland had tins of Seville oranges. So I bought some. That tin sat in my cupboard for a very long time waiting for me to gather time, jars and patience with the whole 'setting' process.

Disappearing fast!

Then I discovered pectin-free jam making and I was away. I think I used some jam-making sugar I already had on hand (which does have some pectin in it) and I did the test-for-wrinkling-on-a-cold-plate thing, but really the whole process took no time at all and was dead easy. The only disappointing thing is that I only got five (six?) jars from the tin, less than I expected. Because - duh - I used half the sugar the recipe called for. I can live with that. 

I really don't like marmalade, but even I like this stuff: not too sweet, not too bitter, a little of each. These days my morning toast has half covered with marmalade and half with my plum jam: heaven. I laughed at a mention in a Phryne Fisher book I read recently: the two options at her table were marmalade and plum jams. We are silly that way.

I've not done a cost analysis, but the fact that it's now something I can eat has to count for something. Also, I have another idea for which we've bought another two tins of Seville oranges. I want to see what happens if you buy the really cheap stuff (27p), boil it up and mix it with a tin of oranges. I figure the cheap marmalade is mostly sugar and's an experiment I think is worth trying at least. Erica, from Northwest Edible Life has opened my mind on this. 

Even sillier than Phryne Fisher books, I was "inspired" to look up this video of one of my favourites, Lady Marmalade by these amazing ladies. Enjoy!


D A Wolf said...

Lady Marmalade! (What fun.)

I'm curious to hear how your marmalade process goes. (I would never have the patience.)

Not long ago, I had a homemade strawberry "confiture" the likes of which I have never tasted in my life. It was extraordinary. Who made it and how they made it (I was in a little hotel at the time)... I don't know. But it was a marvel!

Carolyn said...

How interesting! I will be intrigued to hear how your marmalade making experiments turn out. I've made cumquat marmalade and it took FOREVER to slice the rinds up finely, but was delicious.