Seville oranges are the best and most traditionally used for making marmalade – they make a unique product as the flavour of the raw (and to some extent, the cooked) oranges is quite bitter. They have a very short season usually around the end of December through to the beginning of February, so it is their arrival that I have been eagerly anticipating since the end of November, when I had run out of steam with chutney making!
A telephone call to our friendly local greengrocer’s put us at the top of a brand new reservation list for when these rare jewels reach our shores. Every week we have been harassing the poor man, and several of his staff members, to find out where they are! A ‘crate’ has been reserved for us, with the option of a second if needed. We are not entirely sure what this means in terms of kilo’s of oranges as the size of the crates varies depending on where the oranges have been packed. We could be in for a bit of a shock! Nevertheless, I am itching to get marmalading. I love the fact that your hands smell of oranges for days, and the scent permeating throughout the house (and out of the kitchen into the garden) when it is cooking is UNBELIEVABLE! For the first few days anyway… then I’m sure the novelty will wear off, and the thought of lemon and orange juice stinging my fingers, and the never ending bore of de-pipping, mincing, squeezing, boiling, sterilising and bottling will prevail… Who am I kidding!! I can’t WAIT!