Monday, 29 October 2007

When Life Gives You Lemons

One of my favourite things to do with lemons, is make marmalade. While the result is sure to make people think you are a Stepford Wife, the process is much easier than you should ever admit to anyone.

I have spent a lot of time perfecting my marmalade. I am always looking at other people's marmalade and comparing it with mine. Colour and consistency is very important, as well as the taste.

I like my lemon marmalade to be light in colour and have a clear jelly with thin strips of lemon peel floating in the jelly. The texture must be soft and easy to spread. I hate any jam or marmalade to tear up the toast when you spread it on.

My recipe is very easy, like just about everything I make.

Lemon Marmalade

2 Lemons cut in half and thinly sliced
1 litre of boiling water
700ml sugar

Put the sliced lemons in a bowl and cover with the boiling water.
Cover the bowl and leave over night.
The next day put the lemons and water in a pot and boil until the liquid has reduced by one third and the peel is soft. Remember that once you add the sugar the peel will not soften any more.
I warm my sugar before adding it to the lemons, this helps it to dissolve quicker.
Add the sugar to the lemons, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Scoop out any pips which you can find. I find it easier to do this once I have added the sugar, as the pips will float after you have added the sugar.
Bring to the boil and keep stirring.
Wash down the sides of the pot if there are any crystals.
Keep boiling until setting point is reached. This is 105°C.
The quicker you boil, the lighter in colour.
Don't leave your pot unattended, as it will burn very quickly.
Once you have reached setting point, remove from the heat, wait 10 minutes and pour into your hot sterilized jars.
The reason you wait 10 minutes after you have finished, is so that your marmalade can cool slightly and the jelly can thicken and then your fruit will not "float" to the top the bottle.
Close the lids immediately and leave to cool completely before using.

This is best served on hot toast. Makes great gifts and is sure to impress even the most difficult mother-in-law.

On Saturday we went to the Cape Town Flower and Garden Show. While I do not have a garden of my own (my back yard is paved), it really was beautiful to see what others can do.

I took a few pictures, which hardly do justice to how beautiful everything really was.

The back drop to the show.

This is an aloe made from wire and beads, the only kind of plant I am qualified to look after.
As Keith said "You talking to a woman who battles to grow her hair!".

1000 blooms. The smell from these roses was heavenly.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Ooooh, now that's a lsmonade even I can make! I even have a (pristine and unused) sugar thermometer! And don't you just adore those beaded aloes? I first saw them when they appeared on the SA stand at the Chelsea Flower Show and I fell instantly in love. I bought myself a smaller one (probably about 25cm tall) in PE and brought it back in my suitcase - with some difficulty!!

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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