Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Sunday 9 January 2011

Feeling chuffed

The sight of the first Seville oranges in the supermarket inspired me to have a go at making some - but something a bit out of the ordinary, some lemon and lime, for which the Blessed Delia came up trumps again.

And it worked. However, I do notice that neither Ms Smith nor my trusty Marguerite Patten cookbook goes out of their way to reassure those of us who weren't listening in Chemistry that the mixture will stay liquid while hot, and that there's nothing wrong if it swirls around a bit even after you've started putting in the jar. No magic involved, provided the test sample was setting in the cold. The last time I tried something like this, you see, I didn't believe the test sample, and ended up with what I can only call gooseberry toffee: nice in its own way, but not easy to spread on toast. This time, however, trusting Delia worked a treat (but, my word, the lime makes it sharp).

All this domesticity set me off down memory lane, to my mother's proud efforts. There was a delicious three fruit marmalade, a large jar of which made it all the way to Paris to my school exchange family, and promptly fell off the kitchen table before anyone had a chance to try it. My mother swore by (and occasionally at) her pressure cooker for jobs like this (though a mechanical shredder would have saved more labour, if not cooking time). Hunting round to see if there's an image of the type she used, I find they have an example in the Science Museum, which adds a certain perspective. You can see why they used to talk about the Kitchen Front, can't you?

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