Monday, 16 December 2013

LOVE in a jar.

I LOVE giving preserves as Xmas presents.
Or birthday presents or really for no reason at all.
Most people REALLY love to get a hand made gift.

And as we limp towards the finish line of the year I am hearing & reading SO much stress online about getting there.
Too many of them are related to buying things.
Not having done the shopping, worrying about the menu etc.

Why not turn this around and not worry about buying things and instead maybe try making some little things to give to your loved ones.

Or give a hug. It's free and heart filling.

Or give LOVE in a jar.

While you stir the jam pot you can think about how lucky you are to have good friends to share with and how ace it will be to eat toast together and sip a hot cuppa and laugh.

Really that is what matters.

People.

People are what matter.

Not stuff.

Spiced Seville Orange Marmalade.
We did our final Farmers Market shop before Christmas day o Saturday.
The weather was perfect & I got to hug all my fave farmers and thank them for providing me with amazing produce this year.

Just as we were leaving the market I spied some Seville Oranges and picked up a few to make Marmalade.
There is something about spiced Oranges that makes me think of Christmas!
Here is the recipe I came up with. It made 2 large jars (or 1 litre of marmalade) - but would easily make about 6-8 little ones (jars are now easy to find in those cheap as chips shops)
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 5 whole seville oranges (seeds to be kept)
  • 1 apricot stone (if you have one- don't worry if  you don't)
  • 1 kilo raw sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 litres of water
METHOD:

Slice the oranges in half and juice well.
Keep the seeds & set aside (they will be integral in getting the marmalade to set).
Now slice into quarters and slice into very thin slivers. Don't worry about the pith it will kind of disappear as you cook the marmalade.

In a very large pot add the sugar, water, orange juice, orange rind and the cinnamon stick. Place the seeds of the orange, the cloves,  the star anise & the apricot stone if you have it into a tied Muslin cloth (or I used a large single tea sieve- the stainless steel ones you find to make a single cup of tea with leaves- I popped all the seeds into this and had it dangling in the pan)  

Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low and stir occasionally, skimming the scum from the surface.
It is ready when there are very small bubbles appearing on the surface- this will take about an hour.  


You can check if it is set by placing a small amount onto a dish and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.  It is set if there is a skin when you push against it with your finger.

Remove muslin (or tea strainer) and pour into warmed sterile jars.

LOVE in a jar.

3 comments :

  1. Homemade gifts are the BEST!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the homemade stuff the best.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So true Ruth I remember giving my daughter a Box of love as a present and she loved it ,I wish you ,your family a wonderful peaceful Christmas and a safe new year xx

    ReplyDelete

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