Monday, December 18, 2006


This small tree growing on the terrace in front of our guest annex is our pride and joy. I haven't got the greenest of green thumbs and most of what's in our garden has learned to flourish on neglect ...or die. I'm prepared to water and, occasionally, throw a little food at my plants so I don't expect such enthusiastic fruiting as this. The tree, a bitter orange, was here when we moved in 6 years ago and every year it's produced a little more fruit than the year before but this time it's really pushed the boat out.
Problem was what to do with it. It didn't feel right to leave the oranges to rot on the tree as I usually do; that they look so gorgeous hanging in the sun is my defence. I could only think of two things: marmelade or vin d'orange, orange wine. Sounds like a no brainer but vin d'orange gives me the biggest headache so I opted for marmelade. Just like jam but with less sugar, no?
No. Having borrowed a big pot I decided to double the recipe so eight hours later I'm still standing over the cooker watching the pot boil and this was Saturday evening!
I started at 2pm and ladled the last of the marmelade into the jars at 10.30pm.
The final tally was 3 blistered fingers and 14 costly pots of marmelade(all that electricity) though H. says it's the best. Good job with all those pots to get through.
The moral of the story is don't double the recipe!


tut-tut said...

But think how you'll feel when you offer some to a guest, saying, "Yes, as a matter of fact I DID make this"!

tut-tut said...

And thanks for the link; nice photos and a nice way in which to get some more French in my routine.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I spent a lot of my youth chucking the ripe ones at my sisters. I'd be OK if you wanted to chuck some at them. Shall I give you their addresses?

We used to make juice, and mimosas, with them. If you leave them on the tree, they will not rot for a couple months - at least that was true in So. California.

Then they are perfect for a chuck.

cityfarmer said...

I would be so proud if I were you.

meredith said...

That homemade marmelade will be good for your Christmas gifts. I bet you it's delicious and worth all the work.

angela said...

Much to my surprise the marmelade is very we're going to eat it.
Still leaves the problem of a tree full of oranges.