Getting in a jam

The thames at night

Today’s striking guest picture comes from my brother who describes it as ‘dusky’.  I think  he must have been in London yesterday evening.

The thames at night

We had summer indoors today and winter outside.  They were brought to us by courtesy of the jasmine family.

jasmine
A gift from our daughter Annie has come into flower in the sitting room
winter jasmine
Its winter cousin keeps plugging away outside the back door.

In the garden there are now several clumps of promising snowdrops…

snowdrops

…but we are still waiting to see one in full flower.

The rhubarb crumble scenario is developing.

rhubarb

It might have been a suitable day for a cycle ride but a slight drizzle in the morning made me more than content to be sipping coffee with Sandy rather than getting wet.  After he had left, I turned to the main business of the day which was making marmalade.

As those of you who make marmalade in the traditional manner will know, it is a lengthy process.  The oranges have to be squeezed and sliced thinly which takes quite a lot of time in itself and then the resultant juice and fruit mixture needs to be simmered for at least two hours.

When the simmering is done, the sugar needs to be added and the mixture boiled until it is ready to set.  Then it is left to settle for some time and the mixture stirred to distribute the orange peel evenly.

Finally it is put into jars and left to cool before being labelled and covered.

There may be time during the process when a moment can be found to stare out of the window…

chaffinch

…but today as often as not, when that moment came, the birds were lurking round the back of the feeder.

Sometimes a bird obliged though.

goldfinch
A goldfinch is a pretty bird, worth the wait.

As well as the cooking, marmalade makers have to spend what seems like hours throughout the process in  washing their hands to get the stickiness off and then wiping off anything they may have touched while turning on taps, opening cupboards or picking things up and putting them down.

Still when it is all done, the light might have gone for the day but the reward is there for all to see.

marmalade

If we want enough marmalade to last us for a year. there might have to be another session!

I might have done something useful in the late afternoon but I was foolishly tempted to watch a bit of the Trump inauguration and found myself frozen into immobility as it unfolded and unable to tear myself away.

Finally, pangs of hunger got me out of my chair and I cooked a potato and feta bake for our tea.

It was quite a cooking day as I also made a fruity malt loaf in the breadmaker.

The evening brought sweet music as Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played three familiar pieces which gave us great pleasure and soothed the spirit.

We are promised a sunny day tomorrow which will be most welcome.

I did find a flying bird among the orange peel.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Getting in a jam

    1. I can understand an aversion to making marmalade but we made about forty pots one year so making more modest amounts feels very easy by comparison.

      1. Yes, I only made 12 pots of jam last year – much more restful than the marathon sessions I’d been having making preserves to sell in the cafe.

  1. Ahhhhh, home made marmalade. One of my favourite memories of childhood was watching mother make marmalade. I could never understand why seville oranges were only available in January because of course we always ran out before year end. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I’ve never made jam but I’ve eaten plenty. My favorite is raspberry.
    It’s nice to see flowers of any kind. I’m still not seeing any signs of snowdrops. Instead I’m seeing snow.
    If that rhubarb doesn’t show the promise of spring, I don’t know what would.

    1. I am sorry that your snow has come back.

      As far as home made jam goes, we always made it with our mother as children and the habit has stayed with me.

      It tastes far better than shop bought stuff naturally.

  3. Oooh! That’s a good baker’s dozen. I have to buy my marmalade at the grocer’s. And even if you’re a bit farther north than us, your snowdrops and rhubarb is way more advanced.

    1. We have had a really mild winter with only one or two light frosts to keep us on our toes. I see from the news that Germany has had some very wintery weather.

  4. I love marmalade but have never made any – yours is such a glorious colour! I am on the look out for Seville oranges for my mother but haven’t seen any yet. No snowdrops here yet either, maybe because we’ve had lots of hard frosts this month.

  5. I love marmalade too -wonder if you keep a jar under your hat when out cycling!
    Cleaning up after cooking and baking is always a chore but it would make it all worthwhile if malt loaf was the result…I must try harder!

  6. I have never made marmalade, although Rick is quite fond of it.

    It is always a welcome sight, the first signs of spring. It is still the season of bare trees against an unruly sky, but life is stirring everywhere down below. The clouds are racing by at a good gallop here today.

  7. I love marmalade, too! I could only read the inauguration speech. Disgusting man, I could go on and on about that but I won’t. Yum, marmalade! I’ll think about that.

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