Sep. 17th, 2017 04:50 pm
marjorie73: (Default)
 My friend A and I had booked o see the RSC's new production of Coriolanus on Saturday evening and were thinking about where to eat before the show, and a different friend of mine recommended  Salt, which opened earlier this year, after chef Paul Foster and his wife raised the money to open it, via Kickstarter.

We went for lunch, and chose to go with the tasting menu, which involved 6 courses (plus optional cheese course) and was delicious!

We were tempted to try the special cocktail on arrival - a gin & prosecco fizz, which was also very nice!

The restaurant is small, with a relaxed feel, and the service was friendly and efficient.

After the bread (which was delicious, malty and warm, served with locally churned butter - very rich, with a hint of clotted-cream taste to it!) we started with tomatoes with a linseed cracker and a shaving of cheese - apparently very simply, but a wonderful, rich tomato flavour. 




Then the next course was mussel broth, with salted cod, peas and beans (and mussels, and something which I think was samphire.



Next came a carrot and chicken dish, 2 or 3 different types of carrot, some cooked in chicken fat, others pickled, together with crispy chicken skin, like a tiny, intensely chicken-y piece of melba toast!

Next came the main, perfectly tender pieces of lamb rump, which came on a black garlic emulsion and with tiny onions and vegetables.

This was followed by the (optional) cheese course, which we, of course, opted to have, after which came desserts - first lime curd with yogurt meringue and sorrel, which was light and refreshing. I'm not normally a fan of meringue, but this wasn't overly sweet, and with the tartness of the lime and sorrel it worked really well.  


After this came a second dessert of dark chocolate cream with raspberries and a chunk of white chocolate 'aero'. White chocolate isn't my thing, but the dark chocolate and raspberries, and the milk chocolate shard which came with it were all gorgeous.

This brought us to the end of the menu, I finished with a coffee and we were given little choux pastry buns to finish with - again,  not over sweet, with more raspberries (possibly freeze dried, I'm not sure).

It didn't feel as though we spent a long time over the meal, but when we came to leave I realised it was almost 4 o'clock, so we have been there over 3 1/2 hours!

A fine meal. I shall definitely be going back, next time I am in Stratford, although I imagine that as the restaurant becomes better known and better established, it may get harder to get a reservation! 

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 The weekend was busy. After seeing Hir, I stayed overnight in London, due to plans on the Sunday.

A little while back, I saw that Sir Ian McKellan was doing a one-man show, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You  to raise funds for the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, as the theatre wasn't given any Ats Council funding at all in the latest round of grants. 

Given that it was a fundraiser, tickets were, of course, expensive, and at first, I didn't think I could afford to go. But then, just s the tickets wet on sale, I got some money from my bank to say 'sorry we fucked up and locked you out of your account for months', so I decided that it should be spent on something frivolous and self indulgent, and booked my ticket!

I booked for the matinee, which meant I had time to visit the National Gallery - one current exhibition is The Caged Bird Sings, a tapestry triptych designed by Chris Ofili.

It's very beautiful. The gallery has displayed it in one of the side galleries and persuaded Ofili to create a mural of temple dancers to surround the tapestry. 





It is stunning, and the colours of the tapestry are incredibly effective against the greys of the mural.




I hadn't realised the exhibition was there, until I went into the Gallery, so it was a lovely surprise! It's on until 28th August, so plenty of time to see it if you wish!

I also had time to see a second small exhibit (in which photos were *not* allowed) of some of the works of Giovanni da Rimini, who created beautiful religious art work in Rimini in Italy in the early 14th century. I do have a soft spot for medieval art!

And there was just time to visit this,one of my favourites of the collection!

Then I met up with a friend for lunch. At her recommendation, we went to Yauatcha in SoHo, where we ate vast quantities of delicious dim sum (the Venison Puffs were my personal favourite), although sadly I hadn't time for dessert, so I shall be forced to return at some point...

And so, we parted, and I set off to see Sir Ian McKellan!

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This weekend I had the pleasure of catching up with friends - J, her husband J and their nearly-new child (13 months old) came down for the weekend.

It been just over 6 months since I last saw them, so it was wonderful to catch up.

We had a quiet, low key time - catching up, playing with the sproglet, cooking, eating, and a short walk (more of an amble, really) in the village, including some mild foraging for ransoms (wild garlic).

We didn't actually see a wood full of bluebells, but there were lots in the hedge bottoms, and this seemed like a good opportunity to share the picture I took on Tuesday, instead!

There was also a certain amount of cooking, some parts of it more successful than others .. I tried out a recipe for an upside-down aubergine and courgette savoury cake, which tasted great but collapsed on coming out of the tin, so was less impressive visually than the recipe promised!

I also tried, for the first time, to make baklava, as it's nice, and hard to get hold of the good stuff here.

I went for the Turkish style (made with sugar syrup rather than honey) and it turned out pretty well, I think. Lots and lots of pistachios, not too much sugar, and a smidgeon of lemon juice - so it tasted good without being cloyingly sweet.

Next tie I make it I think I shall cook it for a slightly shorter time, and perhaps not reduce the sugar syrup so much, as it was slightly dry round the edges, but on the whole, it worked. And I still have 2 packs of filo pastry, so it won't be hard to try again..

My friends had to go home on Sunday, so I had Monday free, which I used for a little house work, a lot of snoozing (Small Person wakes very early, and I'm not as good as he is at napping during the day to make up!)

Then, as it was wet and unappealing outside, I went to the cinema and saw Captain America:Civil War . Which was good fun. Which was good fun!

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After spending last Saturday at the Barbican, (and having a longer-than-usual journey back, as the train I caught home was allowed to leave Paddington despite being faulty, and only limped as far as Reading, where we all had to wait on a cold platform and then catch another, later train to complete the journey) I was a little knackered, but not too much to enjoy seeing my friend A, who came to send the day and to take me out to see Henry Rollins in Bristol on Sunday evening.

We spent most of the day and evening talking and catching up, some of that time spent at the Pony and Trap in Chew Magna, which is a a gastro-pub with a Michelin star, and which provided us with a  delicious 3-course meal.(consisting, for me, of mussels,followed by a glorious piece of beef, and finally a 'Sticky Ale Pudding with salted caramel sauce and Stout Ice Cream' which was a deliciously grown-up version of parkin, and just the thing for a damp and chilly Sunday afternoon.

Then in the evening we headed into Bristol, to see Henry Rollins at St George's.

A had booked the tickets, and invited me to come, ages ago, and I have to admit that I hadn't previously heard of Henry Rollins, and had very little idea what to expect.

In the event, I had a really good time, really enjoyed Rollins' performance (and I was very impressed that he spoke for about 2 and a half hours without so much as a glass of water!

He covered topics as wide ranging as conservation and penguin shit, (he has recently returned from a trip to Antarctica), the late Lemmy (of Motörhead) who was a friend of his, politics, music and finding other people who share your particular brand of weirdness.

He's very, very good.

All in all, a very enjoyable day!

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The main reason for going to London (this time) were to meet up with N and A, and to see Neil give his lecture, but happily there was also time for other fun things.

When I first got to London, I met up with N and we had a delightful lunch at Nopi, Yotam Ottolenghi's restaurant.

I did not know before that yogurt could be caramalised, but it seems that it can... !

(the restaurant also has the most disconcerting bathrooms ever - they have infinitely reflecting mirrors, a  little like an unusually refined funfair...

Very elegant to have around the basins, but I am not wholly convinced that having multiple, full-length mirrors, in a lavatory cubicle is entirely appealing...)

After lunch we went to Foyles, for some book shopping. They had a delightful display of penguins in the window  (the artist was Chloe Spicer) . The penguins were made from, and celebrating the Penguin 'Little Black Classics'.

I was a little sad that perfectly good little books had died to make the little penguins, but they do seem to be happy, book-loving penguins, so I shall get over it!

I had not intended to buy any books, as they are heavy to carry, and I do have several lovely local bookshops, but I was unable to resist temptation. I have never found it easy to leave a bookshop without buying books, or indeed to pass a bookshop without going in.

Only two of the books I bought were full size, though. . . I did bring some little black penguin classics home with me, although I have not the skill to turn them into actual penguins after reading them..

We had time for some tea and cake before heading to Neil's lecture, and also to admire the beautiful Burmese cat living at N's BandB, which was very nice!

On the Wednesday, I had most of the day to myself, as my train was not until late afternoon.

I started off with a visit to Leighton House Museum, the former home of Frederic, Lord Leighton, who had the house built in 1866, and then extended a few years later to house Leighton's collection of tiles and other artifacts collected in the Middle East, and it is an amazing building.

(photo of 'The Roses of Heliogabulus from exhibition website)

It is also, currently, housing an exhibition of Victorian artwork owned by Mexican collector Juan Antonio Pérez Simón, and featuring in particular, Alma Tadema's The Roses of Heliogabalus, which was displayed in a rose-scented room!

For me, the highlight was not the artwork, but the building itself.

(photo of Arab Hall from museum website)

The house features the wonderful 'Arab Hall',a beautiful space, decorated with  Iznik (Turkish) and Syrian tiles, and modern tiles made by William de Morgan to compliment the originals, and fill in the gaps.

The hall is topped by a glorious golden dome, and contains a fountain.

I had arrived just as the museum opened and was lucky enough to have the hall to myself for a time, to enjoy the tranquility and the beautiful details.

The entrance hall is also lovely, with the most glorious peacock-blue tiles on the walls, although frustratingly, you are not allowed to take pictures, (and the selection of postcards was very limited :( )

The exhibition is ending at the end of this month, but the house is open all year round, and is more than worth visiting!

After leaving Leighton House, I moved on to another exhibition (also close to ending!) - the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London.  

The museum have the outside of the museum in an appropriate manner, and inside are all sorts of interesting things - after entering through a 'secret' door, there is a lot of information about Victorian London, including maps (some showing the routes taken by Holmes and Watson in specific stories, and the method of travel ( foot, cab, rail etc)

There was art, both contemporary art and photographs of London (Including a slightly unexpected Monet!), original illustrations from the stories, and a selection of posters and other artwork relating to various other iterations of the stories, including the Robert Downey Jnr. film, and a french pornographic film..

Further into the exhibition were some of Conan Doyle's original manuscripts, and information and artifacts related to criminal investigation in the Holmes era, plus examples of clothing, accessories etc. of the period. (including theatrical make up and props)

And, of course, props from some of the dramatisations, including Benedict Cumberatch's coat from the BBC's Sherlock.

I found it entertaining, but not quite the 'must see' which some of the reviews I have read suggested.

I finished up by wandering around the rest of the museum, including the parts devoted to Roman and Medieval London, before heading back to the station (and a *very* crowded train home.

Now to start planning what I shall do with my next visit to London, when I shall have another couple of days . . .

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Having spent an enjoyable morning admiring art old and new, we made our way to Chiswick, where Nathalie had booked lunch at Hedone, which was recently classed as the 63rd Best Restaurant in the World, and which has been awarded a Michelin Star.
The restaurant is owned and run by chef (and former lawyer and food blogger) Mikael Jonsson.
I have to say, the man can cook.

I am not a food blogger. My review would be pretty much "Oh my god. So good. More please"
So I shall mostly just post pictures, and you must use your imagination.

We were very restrained.

We didn't go for the full tasting menu, 'just' the 4 course lunch with wine pairing. Which was wonderful.
First, there were the amuse bouches. I'm not sure that my bouche was amused, but it was certainly happy. As it was when we were brought bread - simple, but perfect.

Then the official start of the meal, with slow cooked duck's egg, green peas, girolles and apricot.

Then Liquid Parmesan Ravioli, onion consomme, mild horseradish, smoked guanciale. It's hard to identify a favourite part of this meal, but if I have to, I think it might be the liquid parmesan ravioli. I don't know how you make make such a thing. Black magic, probably.

Did I mention that there was wine, too, with each of these lovely dishes? When we arrived at the main course, Slow cooked leg of Coucou de Rennes chicken, coco de Paimpol, confit tomato, we moved from white, to red wine.  Perhaps that is why we were so easily seduced into adding a cheese course to our  meal?

The cheese was gorgeous - I even enjoyed the Forme d'Ambert, and I don't usually like blue cheese.

Dessert was Oatmeal Parfait with Cherries and was perhaps the least successful of the dishes, as the cherries were chilled, and their full flavour didn't quite come through. Although it was still delicious.

A truly wonderful meal. (and one eaten in excellent company!)

Mikael Jonsson.
I snoozed in the train all the way home, dreaming of glorious food.
marjorie73: (Default)
This last week has been very much better than the preceding one, in many, many ways. admittedly, the bar was set pretty low, by last week, but this week would, I think have been good even without that comparison!

On Wednesday evening I was in Bath to see Mitch Benn's new show, Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle which, as I understanding started out as his gig at the Edinburgh Festival. Its very good, and a lot of fun, even if, like me, you don't know much about the Beatles careers. There are a couple of songs which have appeared in Mitch's other shows, but the vast majority is completely new material, which is fun.

The gig in Bath was the first on the current tour, so there are lots of further opportunity for those of you in the UK to see it. I recommend it.

Then, this weekend, I travelled up to Manchester to spend the weekend with my best friend, ahead of her wedding in March, and to see my brother and his girlfriend.

I'm still pretty ouchy following the RTA I was involved in, and am finding driving pretty uncomfortable, so 2 long drives in 3 days seemed like a very bad idea, which meant I wound up getting the train to Manchester - it was a surprisingly smooth trip - not too crowded (at least once I was off the local train and onto the cross country one) and certainly less stressful than driving (particularly in an unfamiliar car) would have been. I'm not too keen on the courtesy car I've been given.

Once I arrived, I met up with J and we had lunch at the wonderfully kitsch Richmond Tea Rooms, before heading back to her home, where we spent the evening catching up, with the help of some lovely food, and some rather nice prosecco!

On Saturday we went into Manchester for a pre-booked spa session, which had some interesting moments - we assumed that a treatment which involved a segment described as 'baking' might involve a degree of warmth. Apparently not. (and when you are half naked and covered in mud, you're not really in a position to go looking for a staff member to sort it out! Fortunately, good company makes up for everything, and we just got the giggles (and warmed up in the steam room, later on!)

On the Sunday, after saying farewell to J, I met up with my brother and his partner, and we had lunch, an abortive attempt at cocktails, and some beer, and lots of conversation. I've not seen them since I went up to visit them last summer,  so it was good to have the chance to catch up.

And then there was another long, and happily, uneventful, train journey home.

It was a fun weekend.
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It's been a busy weekend.

It started on Thursday evening, when my friend Cheryl came round for supper, and arrived bearing Croatian wine and chocolate.She's blogged about it here - The wine and chocolate were both delicious, and the evening made a lovely start to a weekend of fun things!

On Friday I got the train to London, to go to a 'Literary Lunch' with Neil Gaiman, at Kaspars at the Savoy. I had dithered a bit before booking it, as I've been fortunate enough to go to several of Neil's events already this year, and it did seem rather extravagant,  but I decided that I wanted to go despite the extravagance, and that the fact I am about to have a birthday with 0 on the end of it was as good an excuse as any...

I have never been to the Savoy before. It's dead posh. And Kaspars is a rather lovely Art Deco styled restaurant. Beautiful tiles and chandeliers.  I was a bit worried that they might throw me out for not being posh enough, but either they're too polite,or the fact that I wore a dress was enough to put them off the scent!

Neil with Nick Vince

The restaurant has a central shellfish bar and I was seated there, and quickly got into a conversation with the gentleman seated next to me,who turned out to be a writer and actor (he played the Chatterer in 'Hellraiser') and was an excellent dining companion. I was expecting good company - after all, everyone at the lunch was a fan of Neil's, but it is always nice to have one's expectations met or exceeded, isn't it?

Once we were all seated, Neil explained the format - introduction, starters, reading, main course, Q and A, pudding.. And explained that in the Q and A, we had to do the Q's and he would do the A's.It occurs to me that this has been the format of all of Neil's events which I've been to. I wanted to suggest we try it the other way round, just for variety. We could provide answers and let Neil guess the questions, perhaps..


Oh, the food. It was delicious. And so pretty. The starter was a selection of smoked and cured fish - I know there was smoked salmon, and beetroot cured halibut, and gravlax, and some smoked eel. I'm not sure what the other bits were but it was all delicious.

Then Neil read to us from 'Fortunately the Milk'. I think it is just as well that this was while we were between courses, as I expect that snorting with laughter into your meal would be frowned upon at the Savoy. Or possibly a special snorting-with-laughter waiter would appear bearing handkerchiefs and smelling salts to help you calm down.

Neil read from the start of the book, as far as the Walking the Plank. I have been very restrained and not read on, as I am going to the full reading on Tuesday. But it has been a struggle. And I already feel the urge to find suitable children to give copies of the book to!

Then came the main course (which I was too busy eating, to photograph) before Neil's Q and A.

In response to questions he discussed his alternative career choice (Bespoke religions designed - "How do you feel about guilt? Would you like a large pantheon?), His attitude to magic ("As a kid, I was disappointed by the failure of most wardrobes to contain Narnia. But I didn't stop looking") Which raises the question - if it's only most wardrobes that don't contain Narnia, does that mean Neil found one which did? It could explain a lot. That Lamp Post in his garden, for a start...

There was also the question about whether he is nervous, writing new Sandman stories  - Yes, there are millions of people standing, metaphorically  looking over his shoulder as he writes,  The possibility of a sequel to 'Good Omens' - He and PTerry had an idea for a sequal, to be called '668, The Neighbour of the Beast', but  they are both too busy to write it.

Apple Crème Brûlée
Neil also talked about 'Fortunately The Milk' being an pro-Dad book, having inadvertently written a Dad-ist book in 'The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish'.

The we got dessert - oh, that Apple Crème Brûlée. The Savoy doesn't have Neil Gaiman on the menu every day (at last, I don't think so. Unless they have cloning vats in the basement) but I am fairly sure that the apple crème brûlée is available any day.

The lunch ended slightly abruptly, as the hotel needed to start setting the room up for a later event, but Neil still made an effort to sign things for everyone who wanted things signing, we all drank our tea or coffee and  ate our delicious salted caramel lollipops (and, of course paid our bills) and luncheon came to an end.

Savoy foyer
I'd been in a rush when I arrived at the Savoy, and hadn't had much time to look around. On the way out, I paused to admire the foyer, which has lots of Wedgewood-style friezes, and and photographs and portraits and Chaises Long.

I wandered off into the rain (via the little bit of road outside the Savoy, which,  is, I understand,  the only place in the country where you have to drive on the right. there was a big limo outside, driving (very slowly) on the right, so it must be true!.

Which still left the rest of the afternoon for other adventures...
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I have been enjoying a quiet weekend. My parent were here overnight - they are members of a local bellringing society and travelled up in order to attend the annual dinner, and spent the night with me.

The dinner meant that they were out yesterday evening, so I had the slightly odd experience of lying in bed listening, and waiting to hear them come in. This must be what it is like being parent to a teenager (although less stressful, as I have confidence that my parents' judgement is rather better than that of the average teenager)

Today, we enjoyed a tranquil, sociable day, croissants for breakfast, and a proper roast dinner. As it's quite chilly, and my Dad and I are both still suffering from the tailends of colds we decided not to go out anywhere. Besides, sometimes it's good to just spend a little time being together, without doing anything.

They are coming back again in a few weeks time - one of the people who is coming to Topping's Bookshop in Bath soon is Kaffe Fassett, and as my mum has been interested in his work for years, I asked whether she'd be interested in hearing him speak. She said she would be, so I've booked a couple of tickets, and my parents will come for the weekend, and my mum and I will go to the event. It'll be good to do something together, and to share with my mum something which interests her.

(I enjoy looking at the quilts and things but don't have a deep, personal interest in meeting Kaffe or hearing him speak)
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After our cultural excursions we decided that a quieter day might be in order. It began with a trip to the Saturday market, where we got a little over-enthusiastic buying wonderful fresh fruit - 5kg of oranges (having found a juicer in the kitchen cupboard) and smaller (but still large, and astonishingly cheap) quantities of cherries, strawberries, some (probably) Mulberries, nectarines and some apple-sized fruit which looked a bit like tomatoes and tasted a bit like melon. I'm not sure what they were - persimmons of some kind, perhaps..

All that shopping was so exhausting that we had to go and get lunch. Eating pide and drinking beer, while seated under a canopy of vine leaves takes a lot of beating!

Fortified by food and beer, we moved on to the 'shopping' portion of the day - K was looking for a veil for the whole getting married thing which she is doing in the summer, and she, E and I all need shoes, also for the wedding-ing. Our experience suggests that in Turkey, weddings are all about the frills. And the shiny things. And then the frills on the frills. and glitter on the frills on the frills. And sequins everywhere. Strangely, despite this, we were unable to convince K that she wanted to buy a new dress, in place of her original choice (and even more strangely, I don't seem to have taken any pictures of the dresses!)

However, trying on veils (and shoes) was so exhausting that we decided another Hamman was needed. we went to the town hamman this time, which was less slick than the hotel (no plunge pool) but with much better massage.

And yet again, they somehow managed to scrub off another layer or two of skin, despite our all having been exfoliated to within an inch of our lives less than a week before... I really need to learn the Turkish for "I do exfoliate, honest. And I'm sure a lot of that is sun cream."

It was D's last day, so we stayed up late chatting, and sitting out on the balcony in the quiet darkness watching the bats flit past, then K drove her to airport to return to England's rain-drenched jubilee.
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This week has mostly involved little, calm but nice things. Many of them food-related.
On Monday, on of my colleagues who is a member of a local shoot, gave me 2 brace of pheasant. He explained that he'd brought 4 birds as some of them were quite small, which was kind of him, but rather overlooked the fact that there is only one of me, so even a small pheasant goes quite a long way!

Anyway, I decided that I lacked the patience to pluck that many birds, so I skinned them (well, 3 of them) instead, which is much quicker, and two of them were casseroled with cider and apples (which worked very well - and which leaves me with at least 3 more servings in the freezer, for high-quality dining the next few times I don't want to cook properly!) One went to a friend, and the last one is in the freezer (jointed and de-feathered. Putting a feathery one in the freezer would be weird) awaiting further inspiration.

Tuesday evening was spent with relatives - my Dad's cousin M (a very young 80 year-old) invited me over for dinner, and to see our mutual cousin, J (who is the one I visit in London, and go to the theatre with, and who is the same age as my dad) I enjoyed the evening - it's nice to have a meal which I haven't had to cook for myself, and it was also very pleasant to simply sit and chat.

Then I managed to do some early Christmas shopping, as I found myself in Bath at lunch time, after going to court, which meant I DIDN'T need to go in on Saturday, which was a bonus! It meant I got to go to the library on Saturday, instead. And to catch up with chores at home, which is good, as things are now tidier with fewer heaps-of-stuff. And I got to read two Amelia Peabody novels over the weekend.

The Bath Christmas Market has opened this week - lots of nice things, although as I get older and crankier I find I'm less and less willing to buy the kind of things which will be amusing for 10 minutes, and then will gather dust for the rest of their existence. In fact, what with that trip, and the wonders of online shopping, I've done a lot of my shopping - just have Awkward Men, a 5 year-old boy and a few stocking fillers still to do. Which is good. It means I don't have to get too stressed about shopping. although I will have the wonderful queueing-in-the-post-office with parcels event to do.

And I just realised that the stamps I have for sticking on cards for the USA all have George III's portrait on them. They beat him in the end, so no ones going to be offended, right?

This weekend I have a day-trip to London coming up - I'm meeting up with my cousin J and his partner, and we're having lunch and then seeing the Southwark Playhouse's production of Diana Wynne Jones' 'Howl's Moving Castle' - should be interesting.
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It's marmalade season again, and having bought some Seville oranges 2 weeks ago, I now have both the time, and the energy, to actually make the marmalade (or at least the 1st batch - I have bought lots of oranges this year, so should be able to make several batches.)

One of the things about marmalade-making is that while it isn't difficult, it is time consuming. although it does make the house smell wonderful as it is cooking, and for me, it's an evocative scent as it reminds me of my grandmother, who always made marmalade (I never made any, until after she died)

This morning, I had some errands to run in town first thing, so didn't get started until lunchtime, and I spent most of the afternoon on it, one way or another. (although this did include a lunch-break and a waiting-for-the-dishwasher break.)

Still, by about 5 p.m. all was completed - I have 9 large & medium, and 3 small jars full, (I used 2lbs today, as  that's the right quantity for my largest saucepan) and I have at least 4 lbs of oranges left so should be able to make twice as much more, although I may have to wait until next weekend, as I find I have fewer empty jars than I thought, and the only 2 shops I know of in town which sell jam-jars are closed on Sundays.

So, for anyone who fancies having a go at making their own marmalde, this is the recipie I use.
3lbs seville oranges
2 lemons
6 pints of water
6lbs sugar


1. Wash the fruit thoroughly

2. Halve the oranges and lemons and squeeze out the juice and pips. Put all of the pips, plus and pulp & pith/membrane which comes away into a muslin bag & tie it up. Leave the bag soaking in the juice for now.
3. Cut the peel up (however thickly or thinly you like your marmalade)

4. Put the peel into a preserving pan or large saucepan with the water and the bag of pips & pith. Save the juice.
5. Bring the peel to the boil and simmer until the peel is very, very soft. (it should be soft enough that a piece rubbed between your thumb & finger will disintegrate). This will take up to 2 hours and the amount of liquid will have reduced by around half.(slightly shport time for smaller quantities)

6. Remove the muslin bag and squeeze so all the liquid runs back into the pan.

7. Add the sugar and heat gently until the sugar is all dissolved

8. Bring to the boil & boil rapidly until setting point is reached (if you have a jam thermometer, the temp is 105 C / 221 F. - if not, put a couple of saucers in the freezer before you start stage 7, then test by dropping a little marmalade onto the chilled saucer, leave for a moment then push the puddle with your fingernail - the top should wrinkle. If not, boil a bit more and try again)

9. Stir in the juice

10. Remove from heat and remove any scum from the top with a slotted spoon.

11. Leave for 10-15 then stir to distribute the peel and put into clean, warm pots (pots straight out of the dishwasher are fine, or alternatively, wash them very carefully then warm them in a cool oven)

12. Cover the top of the marmalade in each jar with a waxed disc then leave (covered with a clean tea towel) until completely cooled.

13. When completely cool, cover with a cellophane cover and (if you wish) a screw top.


Obviously you can increase or decrease the quantities, as long as you keep them in proportion. You normally get approximately 1lb marmalade per orange - these quantities will yield around 10lbs of marmalade. - I tend to make it in smaller batches as I don’t have a preserving pan, and find that about 1-2 lbs of oranges is as much as I can do at any given time in the largest pan I have, what with the boiling sugar.

If you want to get fancy, you can add ¼ pint of whisky or of Cointreau at stage 9

If you want, you can add the juice with the water at stage 4 - saving it to the end makes the marmalade taste a bit more tangy, which is why I do it, but you don't have to.

marjorie73: (Default)
I have been very domesticated today.

I started with some more of yesterday's beetroot bread - didn't make it, I bought it at the farm shop out of curiosty, never having had pink bread before.

It wasn't very exciting - in fact, if you ate it with your eyes shut you wouldn't know about the beetroot. But it was very nice - fresh crusty bread.

I then had a go at making rhubarb Cake, from a recipe which Ticia sent me - nice, but a little bit too sweet for me - I think next time I shall make it with a lot less sugar, and more rhubarb. But nevertheless very tasty, especially with ice cream..

Also at the farmshop I bought some red and some blackcurrants, just because they were there.

The redcurrants I have frozen - I want to try my hand at making redcurrant jelly, but that takes 12 hours so I shall save hem untl next weekend. (also, the recipie I have suggests ading port to the mix, which I on't have in the house.

The blackcurrants, however, were fine just as they were, and I made them into jam. I haven't made blackcurrant jam before, and I rather think I cooked it a little too long and it has set like a rock - but it tastes OK. I only bought one punnet (about 8oz) so there was just enough for one jar.

Blackcurrants are fiddly to prepare, though.

I do enjoy pottering about making stuff, though. Cooking is one of the few creative things I can do. The thing is, I need people to eat this stuff...

And tonight - the last episode of "Sherlock". Looking forward to it. Especially Benedict Cumberbatch's cheekbones, and Martin Freeman's everthing. Makes up for Doctor Who being over.

marjorie73: (Default)
(Originally posted at
There are some traditions I am happy to maintain....
Especially when they come with lemon & sugar.
The lemon counts as one of my five-a-day, doesn't it?
I love that something so delicious can be made so quickly and easily, out of such simple ingredients. And pancakes, like madeleines, are full of memories...


marjorie73: (Default)

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