On January 16th my beautiful pearl grey City 60 Aga arrived, I’ve kept my promise not to publish images of the team off loading it and bringing it along my garden path on a sack barrow, but of course I recorded every second of its journey. Of course to be able to buy such a beauty meant I had to sacrifice another beauty, my incredible Triumph Daytona 675 which I hadn’t ridden in over a year and still resided in London, unfortunately I didn’t ever manage to throw it round the fabulous bends in the Gloucestershire valleys.
So now I’m learning to cook all over again from the very beginning. My first attempt at cooking was a little ambitious, I’d decided that I was going to cook a roast as well as try my hand at making marmalade (for the first time). With hindsight I would recommend that you start off with something simple and uncomplicated! After making what my mother called ‘marmalade honey’ (erring on the clear runny honey side), I decided not to give up and spent the weekend refining my technique to achieve a ‘good set’!
Everyone has their own way of making Seville marmalade, so I thought it best to do it the Aga way to begin with and stuck to Mary Berry’s recipe, though instead of putting in the simmering oven for 2 hours, I put them in the simmer oven overnight, the oranges covered in water.
In the morning I removed the softened oranges from the water and sliced them into halves, I then scooped out the fleshy centres and put them in my Mouliere. This was a wonderful tip I was given recently and was the best advice ever! I squeezed every last bit of pulp from the oranges and pectin from the pips and mixed it back in with the water from the oranges. I halved the juice/water consistency just to make the liquid more manageable as it becomes like molten lava, I then made the first batch by bring it to the boil and letting it simmer for 6 minutes, then added the sugar and let it bubble and boil away until setting point, approximately 20 minutes. I bought the jars out of the simmer oven and carefully poured the marmalade into the sterilised jars, topped them with wax paper and put their lids on. As they cooled they sealed themselves nicely and the sound of popping came from the kitchen while the suction drew in all the remaining air. All that’s left to do is label them, perhaps next weekend! That’s quite enough work for this weekend.
Freshly baked bread and homemade Seville marmalade, roll on the weekend.