At the end of the month, we’ll be holding the second of our Sage & Thrift suppers – which we really need to rename because they’re actually in the afternoon – and I wanted to have a seasonal speciality to use for my home-made contribution. But it’s January. Season of the sensible root or cruciferous vegetable – cabbage, brussels sprouts, parsnips and so on – things that can cope with the cold. And whilst I’m not adverse to cabbage per se, it’s not exactly the uplifting kind of thing I want to take to a communal supper. I want cake, damn it.
And then, like a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day, I remembered that January is also the season of the wondrous Seville orange, and that means one thing and one thing only. Marmalade!
Luckily for me, Jo, my partner in Sage & Thrift is as optimistic about our capabilities as I am. When I asked “Do you like marmalade?” she replied “Yes, as long as I don’t get to eat it only after you’ve made me go for a crazy run…” I fear she knows me all too well. But my plans were rather more sedate than a mud-filled 10k and this time just involved the pair of us, a stack of oranges, a mountain of sugar and a well-thumbed copy of the Women’s Institute book of preserves.