I never tire of making marmalade. I make hundreds and hundreds of pounds every year, and as soon as the Seville oranges are in I set to. That heady, sharply aromatic smell that spreads through the whole house is a real harbinger of the Spring to come, the lighter days, the urge to spring clean.
“Making marmalade then?” remarks the postman, as he hands in the day’s mail - an astute observation as a gust of marmaladiness blasts past him as I open the front door! I answer this door often over the next few weeks - “got any marmalade yet?” is the plaintive cry, as word spreads through the village that production is underway. Everywhere I go I make sure I have three or four jars tucked in my basket just in case I encounter an addict anxiously seeking their fix!
I always cook my fruit whole first - its makes the hateful job of cutting up the peel so much easier and I think it brings an intensity of flavour which is really hard to beat. I only ever made marmalade in what I think of as the ‘cold’ way once, when I was about 15, and I swore I would never do it like that again, and I never have.
At the end of the run I always make a few jars of the specialist flavours - whisky marmalade, ginger marmalade, one with black treacle and I always make some where I put the peel through the food processor for those that don’t like chunky.
Now you can cook along with me and I will show you all of my favourite tips and techniques to make successful marmalade every time.
I work hard to preserve preserving
I write, blog, teach and demonstrate the whole spectrum of preserve making to beginners - and the more experienced - whenever, and wherever I can
I have taught complete beginners in the middle of a field at events like Carfest and The Big Feastival and also from the stage at Grand Designs and Country Living Shows.
It doesn't matter where you learn - as long as you learn.
My passion is teaching.
I incorporate that into my life in Oakham, Rutland UK where I am a wife, mother and grandmother and sometime chicken herder.
I have been preserving food at ambient temperature since I was 11 years old and have drawn all of that experience together to found The Guild of Jam & Preserve Makers.
It now represents around 600 artisan preserve makers in the UK, supporting them through the transition from hobby maker to full artisan status. We liaise with government on legislation affecting our members, disseminating information on opportunities and enquiries from potential customers. A specialist insurance scheme has been written to take into account the needs of this niche area of the food industry and I offer Professional Days of instruction to ensure that members make as few mistakes as possible when embarking on this business choice.
I have a preserving jar and equipment website http://www.lovejars.co.uk offering trade prices to artisans and retail to home makers and also run classes at our base here in Rutland.
Any enquiry relating to preserving is very welcome - especially ones that take me in a new direction.
You won't regret taking my courses - they will quite literally, change your life.