Monday, 28 January 2013

Marmalade



When you are looking for a recipe, where do you look first - inside a cookery book or on the internet? 

Last week I decided to have go at making some marmalade and did what I always do in these situations - I went through all my cookery books looking for recipes. I am often inspired by something I see online but it's my books I turn to for the nitty gritty. I gathered together the titles with references to marmalade then sat down with a cup of tea and read them all, trying to work out which would be best for a beginner. I could have just googled "marmalade" but then I would not have been able to touch and handle and open all those books with their pages of inspiration, with their splashes and spills reminding me of past cooking sessions. I don't have a tablet or netbook, my kitchen is very small and I'm a messy cook. For all these reasons, I prefer to cook with a book propped open next to me. If I spill something on it, I wipe it off, and I don't keep having to re-open a screen when the screen saver comes on and it all goes dark.

I often find the planning process one of the most enjoyable aspects of cooking; the reading, the thinking, the list writing. In this instance, it was also more enjoyable than making the marmalade. I couldn't find Seville oranges anywhere (I used navel oranges) and couldn't face driving across Leeds to Waitrose in the snow. The orange peel is much too thick (slicing the peel took AGES) and it's a bit too runny. I didn't have time to boil it for longer because I had to go and collect Bella from school. I'm sure this happens to all the best chefs.

Oh well, it still tastes nice. I'll chalk this one up to experience and my next batch will be much better.

23 comments:

Ladybird Diaries said...

I absolutely adore marmalade, unfortunately nobody else in my house does! I'm sure yours will taste great, and I love how pretty you have made the jars. I agree, I always look at my cookbooks for recipe inspiration, I just prefer it somehow.
M xxx

Julie said...

I much prefer browsing through cookery books too. If I do use the internet I print the recipe out - can't imagine cooking with a computer at the side of me! I also have an A4 folder filled with plastic pockets stuffed with recipes torn from magazines - that's what I turn to the most. My favourite preserve book is the one by Marguerite Patten. I've used it for lots of recipes and particularly for foraged fruits. Never for marmalade though - yeuch! x

Lottie Storey said...

Mine is too runny as well. I *think* you can boil it up again if so inclined. I'm not sure I'll bother though.

Loving your jar toppers x

Jennifer said...

I completely agree with you about using actual cookbooks. I am such a cookbook junkie. I occasionally carry my laptop to the kitchen counter and try to follow recipes that way but it's inconvenient and messy. If I really want a recipe from the internet I will print it out and use it that way. If I love the way it turns out, it goes into what we call our "family cookbook," which is a big binder where we store printed or hand-written recipes. Your marmalade is very pretty and I love the fabric you chose for the lids. I have never made preserves but I would really like to try. I'm hoping to attempt it this summer, when fruits are cheaper.

PinkCatJo said...

The marmalade jars look so pretty and inviting. I dip into both books and the Internet for recipes but prefer to browse a proper book as I never know what I'm going to find. Off to bed now - with March's issue of Good Food magazine for some pre sweet-dreams reading! x

Julia said...

Yes, I prefer my cookbooks to the internet, too! The marmalade looks delicious and is packaged so pretty. I love the little fabric tops they coordinate so nicely with the orange marmalade. Orange marmalade is my favorite spread for toast and biscuits! I have never attempted to make it, but maybe I will give it a try sometime.

sustainablemum said...

I go to my recipe books first and only if I cannot find what I am looking for I look on the net. But I don't cook with my iPad in the kitchen I usually take bits from several recipes and write it down on scrap paper. Then when I have tried the recipe a few times I write it on a card and store in my card index which I use for recipes. I too use the Marguerite Pattern book for jams but I loathe marmalade so have never made it, enjoy yours though it will taste great cos its homemade.

Rachel said...

I too am a messy cook and cook book addict - I also trust my books more the the internet somehow. I couldn't beleive the differences between the different maramalde recipes I found though - huge variatiosn in amounts of sugar/ cooking times/ teechniques - so I went with the simplist!

the linen cloud said...

Your marmalade looks lovely Gillian ... loving the pretty jars ... cookbooks are so great ... I have an ever expanding collection ... I just added Rachel Allen's Bake at the weekend ... a bargain in Tesco ... I love to read them at night ... Bee xx

Xelena said...

Your marmalada looks great and SOOOOO homemade! :)
I rarely use cookbooks, rather look for recipes on the Internet. Though in my opinion it is riskier than using a cookbook where recipes are (hopefully) proofread. ;-)

Coal Valley View said...

Your jars look beautiful Gillian. I love the fabric on the lids :-) I tend to use the internet more but the photos are usually uninspiring so I still love to look through beautiful cookbooks for inspiration. Mel x

Jo said...

I've got loads of cookery books, but I have to admit to using the internet for recipes more. I get a lot of inspiration from blogs as well as recipe sites. As usual, your jars are so pretty.

Col | Hello Olive said...

I love how you've done the jars! Looks so pretty. I prefer cook books. I like looking at the pictures but every now and then I turn to the internet. x

joyforthesoul said...

I love making my own jellies and jams. I like to look at them all lined up on my pantry shelves. They make good gifts as well.

Have JOYful day!!
janie

Sue said...

At least you had a go, i tend to look at recipes thinking i'll have a go, but then never get round to it,so well done you, and yours looks fab, ENJOY!!
Best Wishes to you
Sue xx

Anna said...

I bet it tastes lovely. I love marmalade. I know what you mean about the pleasure of browsing through books but sometimes I just have to find a specific recipe quickly and the internet helps with that. No tablet or netbook for me either so I have to do the old fashioned thing of printing it out. I also like that some recipes on the internet have comments from people so you can find out if it has worked for other people or not.

my little red suitcase said...

Hi Gillian, you are a very creative lady who's not afraid to try her hand at different things! just had to say that! I was thinking the other day about all my recipe books and how I want to connect with them again instead of looking on line. It's true many stages of our lives are in them and it's nice to remember! Love the way you have decorated the jars. Heather x

Anita said...

so creative!
http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com.au

...Tabiboo... said...

Mmmmmm marmalade! I simply love it, but it has to have no bits...my granddad always added really thick pieces to his and I think that's what put me off.

Love your lidded pots,

Nina x

vindiebaby said...

That's beautiful and very creative. Now you just gave me great ideas :)


www.vindiebaby.com
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Karen said...

I love looking through the books, my favourite bit too. I boil the oranges first (Nigella) which makes the chopping easier. Nigel had a orange, lemon & ginger recipe in the Observer this weekend - think I might give it a try, maybe during half term x

just Gai said...

Hooray for cookery books - and for all the reasons you cited. I made marmalade this weekend too. It was going to be a straight up recipe from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diary II, but them, like Karen above, I spotted his recipe in the Observer and decided to add some fresh ginger. It's turned out less gingery than I expected but more acceptable to my daughter. I'm hoping to squeeze in another batch this weekend using Nigella's boiled orange method for the first time.

Jenny said...

Wow. I think you're brave for trying to make marmalade. It sounds daunting to me, but then I'm not terribly successful in a kitchen. The little jars and their fabric tops and labels are darling.