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.
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 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?