Its the time of year again.
No sooner have the decorations come down, the Toffee Shop fudge been devoured and I seem to have a tidy kitchen for a short while ……when I notice that Seville Oranges have arrived at Booths.
Oh dear, now my favourite job (NOT) looms.
Making Marmalade has been an annual part of my life since I married 40 years ago. So that is at least 40 January days spent chopping, scraping, boiling and testing the orange seething mass, when I could have been doing something enjoyable in this quiet time of year. Gone for longer walks maybe, taken the train to Carlisle for a change, helped scan the lambing Ewes. But no, Marmalade Making has to be done, and it can only be done in that tiny window of opportunity when boxes of Seville Oranges grace the shelves of the wholesalers, the supermarkets and the green grocers.
So, my Clare McDonald cookery book comes out and religiously I follow her instructions that take two days to complete. Maybe I can persuade Mike to do a bit of slicing? But he’s so slow and meticulous that I soon loose patience. Then we have the heated debate as to which is the perfect Marmalade. Thick cut with added whisky, thin cut floating perfectly in the jars, or shredless, Mikes favourite.
Well, we shall see if this years bounty is good enough for the World Marmalade Championships www.dalemain.com/marmalade-awards. But, regardless of my success at Dalemain I’m always assured my visitors will appreciate the glorious homemade marmalade that is so much a part of breakfast at Crake Trees Manor.
Keep a look out on Instagram #craketreesmanor to see the final line up of Crake Trees Marmalade 2019 !