We have come away from my garden for a lovely relaxing weekend in the Bay of Plenty. They don’t call it the Bay of Plenty for nothing. My lovely in-laws have recently moved to this area and in their new back yard are two mandarin trees, an orange tree and a lemon tree and they are all completely laden with their orangey yellow orbs that seem to glow in the winter sun.
Well the mandarin trees were laden, until Tim the Helper and the Joeyosaurus discovered they were allowed to have as many as they wanted. As a result the biscuit barrel that held the usual treats was completely ignored in favour of eating fruit straight off the tree. The mandarins were the favourite as they are quite easy to peel. The oranges were worth the effort as they were sweet, juicy delicious and had very few pips. The kids even tried munching on the lemons, although found them too sour and started using them in a game of catch! I don’t think scurvy will be a problem for us this week!
Of course I couldn’t let this golden opportunity to try something new go to waste, so I made a bee line to the stack of recipe books and hunted out a good one for marmalade. I found quite a few and couldn’t make up my mind which one to use, so in typical Sarah the Gardener style, I took all the recipes, took the gist of it and went ahead and batch with four oranges and two lemons that finely sliced made up about two cups of fruit. I put it in a big measuring jug and added enough water to make it up to 5 cups and left it to soak overnight while we spent some good quality family time going for walks and having a lovely dinner party.
First thing the next morning I was in the kitchen in my pyjamas to tend to my marmalade. It is always tricky working in a kitchen that isn’t yours, especially as I reached for the largest pot and added my soaked oranges and lemons and four cups of sugar and turned on the stove. As the element heated up there was this burning smell emitting from under my pot. It turned out the pot had a hole in it and had been put aside to throw out. So I quickly rummaged through the cupboards and found a suitable replacement vessel – a wok. It worked perfectly well.
Before you know it I had three jars of the yummiest marmalade I have ever tasted – but then I’m completely biased.
Come again soon – it’s nice to have a break, but the items on my big list are calling to me.
Sarah the Gardener : o )