Seville oranges, difficult to source here on the island but readily available in stores in January, means time to make marmalade. Usually my jar just magically appears from my mother’s kitchen, all nice and orange and full of bits. This year I wanted to get in on the action, see what it involved.
The oranges, plus a lime and lemon, were peeled when I arrived, so our first task was to remove some of the pith from the skins, and then slice them into tiny pieces. A heady citrus fragrance filled the kitchen as we chopped and sliced.
“Here, try one of these, see if it’s soft enough,” says Mum. So what do I do? I eat it, and promptly bitterness explodes my mouth and I’m left with a ringing numbness for about an hour. No wonder they use orange peel for cleaning products.
“You weren’t supposed to eat it, just bite to see if it’s done,” says Mum, amused.
Well, the peel is done, I reckon, so we add the pulp and I gratefully heap in the sugar and more sugar while the orange slop bubbles away and my hand gets hot from the rising steam. We use Certo to cut down on the time spent slaving over a hot stove. And then suddenly it’s ready.