Oh my goodness, what a terrible day. Only genuine crazy people would be out there gardening on a day like that! There was a nasty south wind bringing freezing cold temperatures with it. I briefly worried about my greenhouse and hoped it wouldn’t blow away, and then I remembered I have a new second hand one waiting for me to put together. Roll on Assembly August.
But not only were there freezing cold blasts, but there was also rain with the fattest rain drops. It seems to be the winter of fat raindrops. Although the other day this hail storm came out of nowhere and there was no raindrops with it. All very weird. The kids decided it wasn’t technically raining and ran around trying to eat the hail drops which were oddly cone shaped.
This was a day to be inside wrapped up warm by the fire. But I was restless. I couldn’t just do nothing – Although I was slightly tempted. But the big basket of citrus fruit was calling to me. I have had absolutely no luck with citrus trees and have killed enough to put me in the serial killer category. So people take pity on us and bring us citrus fruit when in season. The thing is everyone gave us lemons, limes, oranges and mandarins all at once along with the ones we brought back from visiting family. We had more than we could ever get through.
I was tossing up between marmalade and lemon honey – although I could still whip up a batch of lemon honey as it needs the juice. While marmalade is a sophisticated jam and is nice to have from time to time. I’m not sure that it is something I want loads of in my jam cupboard. Then someone at the casino night gave me the perfect solution. Lemoncello. And as I had too many oranges I also made the lesser known cousin orangecello. I vaguely Googled it and it does exist, but I just made it the same way I made the lemoncello – you know me, never one to follow instructions. I hope it works.
Having looked at several recipes for lemoncello I got to work peeling all the skins of a dozen oranges and a dozen lemons (kept separate). My potato peeler is really good and sharp and so I was able to whip around the fruit in no time without getting any of the bitter white pith. Then I put them into sterile wide mouth bottles and poured in a litre of vodka in each one. I hope the recycle people don’t think I’ve gone alcoholic all of a sudden.
I shall shake my bottles of yummy golden sunshine every time I walk past then in a week, I’ll strain it off and add a sugar syrup made of 900g of sugar and 900ml water to the citrus vodka, and I’m not a great thinker and have just realised how much more this will add to the total volume of lemoncello. So I shall mix the syrup and the vodka together well and strain off into sterile fancy bottles and this will the earliest I have ever sorted out Christmas presents! It is much better to have too much lemoncello than too many lemons.
Come again soon – the weather can’t stay yucky forever – although it is the school holidays so who knows.
Sarah the Gardener : o )