Saturday, February 10, 2024

A Marmalade Day


The first Marmalade Day of the year was last Wednesday. Seville or sour oranges, the best type to use for marmalade, are available for only about six weeks, starting in late December. Some years I can find them, some years I can't. In this part of the United States they aren't common.

If I'm able, I'll stock up. I simmer the oranges whole in plenty of water. Then I put on big apron, have a seat, and cut open the oranges, separating the insides from the peels and slicing the peels into shreds. It's a good job to do while listening to the opera or an audio book. Depending on how chapped one's hands are, it's a bit sting-y at first.

In Britain, where they take marmalade seriously, one could buy a special marmalade cutter. I make do with a sharp paring knife, but gosh, isn't the marmalade machine tempting?

Fellows & Bates Marmalade Cutter

I do have a Foley food mill (first picture,) which I use to separate the seeds from the pulp. Seeds, pulp, peel, and poaching liquid are then frozen in single batch sizes, allowing me to make marmalade throughout the year.

Marmalade simmering on the stove is a terrific antidote to a grey winter day, which is why I typically wait until February to make a batch. The house smells like orange Lifesavers and the additional moisture in the dry winter air is welcome.
I give away some to friends and keep a few jars for myself. 

It's remarkable how fast a person can get through a 12 ounce jar marmalade without even trying very hard.

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