Oranges are (sometimes) the only fruit

When we went to the farm-shop the other day, rejoicing in our newfound freedom to leave the house, we found that Seville oranges had come into season. I have just made quite a lot of marmalade, a process which, as usual, lent new shades and depth to my understanding of the word ’sticky’. Marmalade is funny stuff. I have a Marmalade Theory which is highly perfectionist and rather detailed, the Professor has a Marmalade Theory which is at the opposite end of the spectrum and could be summarised as ‘boil it all up and see what happens’, both of us are capable of producing delicious, though quite different, marmalades, or sometimes, in both cases, marmalades which aren’t so nice, from which I conclude that there is a Marmalade Goddess who waves her sticky wand where & when she sees fit. This is a particularly good batch with a deep, intense bitter orange flavour. Not all the oranges have gone into marmalade — if you are within reach of Seville oranges, let me assure you that if you make an oldfashioned lemon curd (lemon juice, zest, butter, sugar) with Seville oranges, fill it into a sweet shortcrust pastry case and briefly recook so as to marry the ingredients, the resultant orange tart is a truly wonderful thing, and since we have a guest next weekend, I have kept some oranges back for the purpose. Chicken and Seville oranges is another good combination — in fact, if the wretched things were in the shops for more than about a fortnight, I’m sure I’d think of endless things to do with them.

6 Responses to “Oranges are (sometimes) the only fruit”

  1. canadian professor Says:

    I love maramalade and my heart was nearly broken when Cooper’s folded. (Yes, I know you can get it, but it’s not the same). I am currently prevented from enterprises like this because I have moved house. From a loved cooker with gas and handy knobs for turning, to a kitchen filled with modernity. I have a Sub-Zero fridge, a Swedish dishwasher which will, I suspect, do a single cup if asked, a microwave, atop an oven. And a Thermidor cooktop which does induction cooking. I have read the manual many times and have actually made some soup. Do I enquire about a replacement and, given what I suspect the cooktop cost the previous owner, dare to ask about cost?

  2. Jane Says:

    There is something quite terrifying about Space Age Kitchens. I dunno about induction hobs, sounds like witchcraft to me. Our present rather unsatisfactory cooker does at lest switch on and off, even if what happens after that is a bit erratic; its techno predecessors, if the event of a power surge or electrical episode, set themselves to TIMED and it could take quite ten minutes of despairing jabbing at buttons to produce MANUAL: as if the first and most obvious thing people are going to do with a cooker is to prepare a nourishing stew at 7.30 in the morning and leave it sitting waiting to turn itself on at 6 in the evening, but that seemed to be the notion. I do hope yours begins to feel a bit more friendly. I wouldn’t mind a Sub Zero fridge, though — as I mentioned in an earlier blog my freezer started defrosting itself at the point when it was colder outside than in.

  3. canadian professor Says:

    The Sub Zero is so - what? modern? unfriendly, that it will not take fridge magnets. I am trying to devise a method of putting up my notice board in a way that will work and not affront its front.

    A friend insists that I must cut the Gordian knot (or hack the panel) by getting someing new - or, rather, old. WITH KNOBS.

  4. Jane Says:

    Not taking fridge magnets is unfriendly. I sympathise profoundly with the preference for knobs. You know where you are with a knob. I view with horror the idea that making things work by waving at them, singing to them, or whatever, is actually some kind of improvement. I’ve heard a ghoulish notion canvassed that some future generation of PCs won’t have a mouse but will respond to the movement of your eyes. ‘You will now sit very still…’ Or I suppose develop an attention span of 10 seconds or less.

  5. Jane Says:

    Actually the last word on this was said some time ago.

    When we had an old-fashioned kitchen,
    Cooking was a slow but easy-going job.
    A place to talk, a place to sit and stich in,
    While we kept half an eye on the kettle on the hob.
    A kitchen on the modern plan may be a fancy looker,
    But we’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the pressure cooker!
    We have every sort of gadget now for every sort of chore,
    But it’s much more work and worry than it ever was before.
    There are cables on the tables with plugs of every shape,
    And what we save on elbow grease we spend on insulating tape.
    We’re confused by all the fuses, the oven changes gear,
    It’s never a cook, you really need a consulting engineer.
    There’s a pinger on the ringer, we can’t hear each other speak,
    That thing on the shelf’s been whipping itself for the best part of a week!
    The pilot light is winking, we can’t locate the switch,
    We’ve every sort of gadget but we don’t know which is which.

  6. canadian professor Says:

    Exactly right. a brisk friend, who had managed to get the tea kettle going on the nearly invisible hob, grabbed it when it spat water. When she tried to clean up the water, many E’s flashed. It does H’s for hot when a pan is removed, but that makes sense. It as been, seriously, suggested that there must be a course in induction cooking?

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