Friday, February 06, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I’m sure anyone with a pulse has noticed that there has been a reasonable covering of snow about this last week. I wasn’t going to blog about it because snow is one of those phenomenon guaranteed to make the press, and most of the public incandescent with tales of their own self importance, and I for one am just not interested in playing that game.

The press has been full of stories of people “battling” their way to work (one man taking 8 hours to hitch his way from Kent to London) and these people are lauded as heroes. Why? What does your average desk jockey contribute to society that means they cannot stay at home for a few days rather than put the already stretched emergency and recovery services under more strain when they inevitably have to drag these people’s sorry backsides out of a ditch? People bringing their kids to work (for shame!!) and insisting that they have to make their meetings (right because otherwise civilisation as we know it would cease to exist, yeah?).

Personally, we have taken a contrary view, and judging by the number of other snowmen in the locality, so have plenty of other people: when the snow comes and the roads look like they’re going to rip you a new one do yourself and everyone else a favour and take the opportunity to rediscover your inner child.

Monday, February 02, 2009


It has been brought to my attention that I have singularly failed to mention my recent DIY triumph!!!

There are no words that need accompany this latest feat of engineering prowess so I will merely say BEHOLD ......

Creole Lady Marmalade

I'm probably just getting old and grumpy, but it recently occurred to me that jam just seems a little bit, well, childish. It seems to me a little like the breakfast equivalent of sticking your face in a Dib Dab and inhaling deeply. From now on, I’ll be dedicating my attention to jellies and marmalades which are far more grown up, and considerably less temperamental.

To celebrate this decision, and the short Seville Orange season, I decided to make some very grown up Seville Orange and Whiskey Marmalade.

I learned a few small lessons in the course of this latest venture to add to the cannon of housewifely knowledge:

1. Marmalade is made over 24 hours, and not in a Sunday afternoon as planned
2. Whiskey and boiling hot sugar are not the best of friends. Neither are they happy bedfellows with skin.

Other than that, the whole process seemed suspiciously easy and worryingly satisfying. I mean I had even sterilised the right number of jars and wait as I might for something to go wrong … it just didn’t!!

At the end of the second day I was left with a line of the most beautiful clear amber marmalade studded with shards of soft bitter peel. It was, quite frankly, a complete bloody triumph!! So much so I burned the roof off my mouth tasting the superheated marmalade until I was lacking pretty much any feeling in my chops ... and possibly a little longer too if I’m honest.

Oh and for any of you finding yourself overrun by squashes and pumpkins (it is the season after all) and wondering what to do with all those seeds and mush, I have a yummy way of making use of them.

Tip all the seeds and smoosh into a colander and wash until you’re left with just the seeds. Stick them on a tray and sprinkle liberally with salt. Stick the tray in a 150o oven for an hour and you will have an incredible snacky type food. Simples!!

Join me next time for more fun ways to chunk up this winter ….