Sunday, February 12, 2012


There is an adage concerning Life, the acquisition of lemons, and the manufacture of carbonated beverages. Now, I'm not too sure who this "Life" chappie is, since I buy my fruit and vegetables from the local supermarket, but when Mr Sainsbury cuts the price of lemons, I make White Ladies. And when Seville Oranges are on the sticky-label counter, then it means it's marmalade time.

There are a variety of ways to make marmalade. Last year, when oranges were similarly cheap,1 we tried the microwave method. This has the advantage of not needing hours of simmering and careful checking to see if the sugar has got to the correct point, but as a downside requires lots of preparation and hand-shredding of peel. This year, for a change, I went with the hob-top method.

Playing with food processors and a jam thermometer is always fun, but for some reason, this year I couldn't get the boiling marmalade to reach 110C - jam setting point. No matter what I did, it remained stuck at 105C. In the end I got bored, and bottled the stuff anyway, with a few tablespoons left over. It seemed a shame to waste the surplus, so I found some gin.

Marmeltini time!

1In fact last year we had so many oranges I had to appeal to friends for extra jam jars. Fortunately Mr Weasel let me use the jars he has been stockpiling in case of the Zombocalypse (the Duke of Wellington always dined on toast-and-marmalade before battle, and Mr Weasel sees no reason to be different). This made Ms Weasel very cross, since it means that Mr Weasel has now been justified in his Zombocalypse preparation habits.

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