Tuesday, January 26, 2010

marmalade days

Well its marmalade-making time.

My mum always used to make marmalade - from scratch, with those wonderfully sour and flavour-ful seville oranges - as well as bottling fruit (canning, for those of you in the USA), baking cakes, keeping a well-stocked larder.

Having a walk-in larder - thats a major feature in my childhood memories of home, mum, kitchen, meals.

Food and love - its an association for me as for many other people, which I reflected in previously in last Thursday's themed post on Bread.
Marmalade - not a staff of life in quite the same way as bread, but maybe just as indicative of love and caring. The jam on it.

Then she and dad used to make marmalade as, in semi-retirement, they increasingly did everything together. And, in later years, they used a kit rather than doing all the work of cooking, slicing, scraping etc. from scratch. Though they still added extra fruit.

And now she is gone, its a special and almost ritual occasion for dad to come and stay for a few days while, among other activities, we make marmalade.

I've written about this before on my blog, here.

And looking for that post, I found this one. Which held me up there, for a while...

Food can mean and bear and express so much.

Oh and i hadn't at all thought this would be a sad or sombre post, its been a lovely marmalade-time with my dad.

So here on a lighter note is another marmalade memory - Orlando the Marmalade Cat.
This was part of my childhood too and they were probably old-fashioned, they had wonderful illustrations and i remember them being sort of quirky.

And I found out that there is a Marmalade Festival in Cumbria

And i also discovered there is an anime series called Marmalade Boy - the little I read about it says nothing at all about why he has this nickname or how marmalade features in his life. Which was a major disappointment to me. Though the Marmalade Festival page does say that there is quite a passion for marmalade in Japan.

"The role of marmalade and other preserves, conserves and relishes in anime, in the context of wider Japanese culture" - hows that for a research topic?

And here are Marmalade


Dumdad said...

I hadn't heard that song for ages! I looked up the Marmalade on Wikipedia and it tells me the group were originally called "The Gaylords", later "Dean Ford and The Gaylords". I think the name change to The Marmalade was a good career move!

Jill said...

What a lovely post! ENDEARING! I love marmalade...why? Because my Nana always made it...and has it for breakfast almost daily. She also would make candied orange peel...delicious but not for everyone.

What precious time spent with your father!

The Clever Pup said...

I can smell it!

Leah said...

So beautiful, soulful, and a wonderful gift to your readers--and I'm talking about all three of the "marmalade posts" taken together.

I'm going to be making marmalade too in the next week and I will think of you and your family...


AmyLK said...

Lovely! So glad you can still share the marmalade with your dad. It does help to bring you closer.

Giulia said...

I can smell it, too. Wonderful photographs & thank you for linking to Orlando...I love him.


ArtSparker said...

Mouth-watering memories.

Stephanie said...

Oooh, that looks so yummy. Nice pics!

Ronda Laveen said...

I can taste and smell it now. Nice family memories are connected to this. Enjoy!

e said...

What a lovely post! Marmalade shipped from the UK was a treat when we could find it during my childhood. Today, I have to look in specialty stores...I'm glad you had a good time with your dad.

Barbara said...

If you were to offer marmalade on your "homemade" site, many people including me would buy it! I can almost taste that bitter sweetness on a piece of good bread.

lusks said...

Oh the sight of these Seville oranges took me back to my grandmother's kitchen and I can smell the sweet smell of jam and marmalade in my mind, thank you.

Squirrel of Nyack said...

I love marmalade ~ and the scent!!!
I miss my mother too.

my mother was a fantastic cook and baker of elaborate french pastries, tarts and pies. She made it look easy since she was very happy & singing when busy in the kitchen. First thing in the morning, there she was, wide awake, neatly dressed, making us a nice breakfast... it made us feel looked after although we probably didn't realize it at the time.

Liza said...

I love your photos SO MUCH!!!
The links to your past marmalade posts are so wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
My mom and aunt share the crown of pickle queen!
A wonderful post.

sleeping dragon said...

This post is particularly interesting to me. I tried making marmalade to give as Christmas gifts and was not pleased with the results. If you could share your recipe that would be SO wonderful!

Of course I will also understand if you'd prefer not to.

Yours is always an interesting and thoughtful blog-thank you!

Betty said...

Your post brought back many happy memories for me.
My Mum made superb marmalade and when I married and left home, she would make grapefruit marmalade (or 3 fruits) just for me because she knew I preferred it to the plain seville orange. x

lettuce said...

Dumdad yes, I think so! I'd not thought of Marmalade for ages, enjoyed trawling through youtube

Jill, lovely family connections :-)

Clever pup, I love the stage when the marmalade-smell starts to emerge

thanks Leah - I hope you have a good marmalade day

It does AmyK.
Giulia, thought you'd like Orlando.
Indeed, ArtSparker.

ta Stephanie, & Rhonda

e, its so interesting and sometimes surprising which UK products and/aren't available over there. And vice versa.

Barbara, I'm reluctant to sell food on made4aid - and shipping for marmalade would be a bit risky and pricey!

lusks, you're so welcome. smells are so evocative aren't they

squirrel what lovely memories. Feeling cared for without being aware of it, thats so precious

thanks Liza. pickle queen - yay!

Sleeping dragon, I;d be happy to. I'll pop back and put it up here some time in the next few days.

Betty I'm not surprised your lovely mum made marmalade too. would you like a jar when we meet next week?

Poetikat said...

I've made marmalade a couple of times, but I've always found it difficult to get it to set. Still, I do love the tang of the rind and the juicy jelly to accompany it. Even runny it tastes great!

Love that photo of the Sevilles?


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I wandered over here to visit your Sepia Saturday post but I had to comment on your marvelous marmalade post!
My late mother-in-law was Italian and she used to make a tart marmalade with blood-red Sicilian oranges.
I've never been able to recreate it for my husband.
I blame the oranges - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Evelyn in Montreal

lettuce said...

Just remembered I said I'd put my recipe here - sorry for the delay, Sleeping Dragon.

Its 1 kg of seville oranges plus one or two lemons, depending on their size. I use a pressure cooker for the first part, but it could equally well be done in an ordinary pan, just increase the cooking time.

So, first, with a pressure cooker -
Stage One
halve the fruit, squeeze out the juice, scrape out most of the pith and pulp and pips which go into a muslin bag - put all of that and 1 pint of water into the pot and cook - 10 minutes.
Stage Two
Once the fruit is cooling, take out the muslin bag of bits, squeeze as much out of it as possible, then you're done with it.
Take out the fruit halves, drain (juice back into the pan) and slice thin or thick as you want, and then return it to the pot along with another pint of water. Add 2 kg of sugar (I reduce a little, we like it really quite tart).
Warm gently and stir till the sugar is dissolved - bring to a rolling boil till setting point is reached.

The last 2 years I've used jam sugar which has added pectin - and that really reduces the final stage to about 5-10 minutes. But it always worked pretty well without, it just takes a longer final boiling.

Without a pressure cooker you'd need a longer first cooking stage, about 2 hours possibly till the skin is soft - and so you need more water, 4 pints all added in the first stage.

good luck!

California Girl said...

Art Sparker is correct, that is "mouth watering".