For the Love of Citrus fruits, being Homely & Flat Caps...

"You have been quiet since the turn of 2011 Kirsty... what's been going on in 'da hood'?
Are you ill? introspective? struggling a little to cope with the minutiae of daily life?..."
All of the above it seems! and then some more.
So when life is feeling a bit 'too much to bear' i tend to get domestic. I *think* my philosophy is to 'Hunker down' / get back to the basics. In essence, to start again from the bottom up and see if i can feel better.

 I am not a saint and i did go to the (not sooo local) kitchen shop ABRAXAS in Weedon.
If i ever have like-minded friends to stay, it is somewhere i like to take them. A treat of a shop for dreaming and dribbling in. OF Cooouuurrrse, nobody needs 'special things' to cook with. I can SEW my own "Bouquet Garni Bags" etc... and so on but i am trying to treat myself so i feel no guilt in this commercial endeavour.
 I bought this lovely PINK whisk too. It is all rubbery in feel. Very satisfying. Now that i DID need and would rather purchase anew than save from the skip / carboot.

I love to get all my bowls and equipment out ready...
i got all the fruits from a local independant Greengrocers via my trip to the cookware shop (extra Brownie points?) they are cheaper and friendly and superior quality.
I spent a few days in and out of the kitchen making Lemon Cordial and Marmalade, aswell as Candid Peel (waste not, want not)
I have no tried and tested methods for either - i am too young and impulsive to belong to any club involving 'secret recipes'. I used an internet recipe for the Lemon Cordial, and i am gald i did. It was a superb method which made me use lots of the peel from 12 lemons and save it as 'Candid Peel' - a sort of sugary treat. It tastes A-mazing!! and the cordial is the finest / strongest / perfectly not too sweet recipe i  ever made. Very happy.
 It came out quite brown and caramelised looking but has since lightend with maturity and looks far more like it's Lemony self again now. I made many! - one or two glass bottles i purchased a while back but most bottles i have saved from family and friends and the pub and that.
 Then the o-so-satisfying process of PRESERVING in any which way or form.
You need smell-o-vision here for sure friends.
Is there much in life that is more beautiful a sight than a bowl full of lemons or a pan full of Seville Oranges? i think not.
 (oh Lordy - it's that tracksuit again. I am beginning to feel that it has become sealed to my chest.... how can i rid myself of it's comfort... it has....wait for it.... a.... FLEECY INSIDE!... i am doomed...MrsB???)
 Now that marmalade....
i have used 3 differing recipes over the years.  i have finally concluded WHAT it is iam doing that prevents me from getting the marmalade to the right consistency. I won't bore you with my marma-experiments but it has a great deal to do with the fact i don't like mine all peely and fleshy / pulpy so i *think* i am lacking pectin in the pan.... it's a theory.
 And honestly, it tastes pretty good - but is not a patch on last years batch.
I must make notes on 'why' etc... then i might make it really well next year?
Do you want to know what went into the jar also?
A few strands of that lemon Candid Peel from the previous day (how cunning can a Fish be?) and a Star Anise (for the Major)
Country pursuits - Preserves and Flat Caps.
I smell of lemons with a hint of ginger and just a touch of fleece.
I am no city girl.
I am no domestic goddess.
I am tired and feeling un-anchored.
A little cooking and a great deal of walking is the very restorative that i need.
x x x


nickynackynoo said...

Mmmmm! I will just have to imagine the smell as I am too lazy to make marmalade. Although I did cook bouchons au thon yesterday - thanks to your previous recommendation. Mmmmm again!

Vintage Tea Time said...

Wow - fab efforts on your part - and fab results - I can almost smell it all! I feel so low here, I'm trying to keep myself really busy too. It's a rough old time of year :(

PaperFish! said...

It is indeed a time we must galvanise ourselves! Bouchons, MMMMmmmm xx

Scented Sweetpeas said...

You keep on cooking and making to banish those winter blues, you will soon be back to your happy self :-)

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

How funny that you should mention Abraxas! My mum - who you met at Canons Ashby at Christmas - works in the Banbury one. Small world.
Well, small in some ways but I think you live 2 miles from my Grandma and 4 miles from my mum & where I grew up. (good ol' Woodford H)


Mrs B said...

oh heavens....*rolls eyes* know what I would do to that 'suit', if it:

a) wasnt for the fact you make it look so damn fine

b) I wasn't totally aware of the fleecy hug it is providing

c) you only have till June (they my friend, I am coming in to wrench you free!


Ps totally inspired to get on with my marmalade tomorrow now! DO you know it is marmalade week this week!? I have come over all Paddington and want a marmalade sandwich!


PaperFish! said...

and my mini-Fish is listening to her Paddington Bear CD as we speak... i did not know it was marmalade week x

::cupcakesandbiscuits:: said...

*sigh* Paddington Bear. How I still yearn for a duffle coat like his. It would match your flat cap well wouldn't it?
For some reason I only enjoy marmalade breakfasting at hotels, spreading lashings of it on toast, otherwise I'm nae keen.
Don't know what that says about me!!

Enjoyed *watching* you make it though.


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