about making something pleasant.
I was given some lemons by my friend R. over the weekend. Yesterday I managed to find the time to cut some of them up for a small batch of marmalade I had not intended to make. Apart from the need to make another half a dozen jars of the grapefruit variety we had enough for the Senior Cat's breakfast toast for the coming year. I had also given some away.
But - these lemons. Oh. They were beautiful. They were large, smooth, unmarked, and that perfect pale lemon colour that tells you there is a good citrus taste inside. They smelt wonderful. I had to do a small "boiling" of marmalade to preserve all this - at least for a while.
So the Senior Cat brought the preserving pan in from where it resides in the "small shed" and I cut the fruit up and added the water and left it, in time honoured fashion, overnight. I made the marmalade early this morning. There are seven good sized jars there and an eighth half-jar. The Senior Cat had some of that, still warm on his toast for breakfast. He purred contentedly and thanked me.
So, here is the recipe:
Two pounds of lemons
Two quarts of water
Six pounds of sugar
Cut the lemons very, very finely and place them in the preserving pan.
Add the water and leave overnight.
In the morning bring the lemons and water to boiling point and cook for about twenty minutes. Add the sugar, stir and continue to cook until the peel is clear and a small amount placed on a saucer sets to a jelly like consistency. (Place the saucer in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator for a few minutes.)
Bottle and seal as you would for jam.
Pounds? Quarts? Well, the recipe is over one hundred years old. It was used by my paternal great-grandmother and, quite possibly, by her mother.
Thankfully I have one of those "mandolin" thingies that will slice the fruit evenly and rapidly. They had to cut the fruit with a knife.
But, there is something very therapeutic and satisfying about making something pleasant and useful.
I will pass a pot over to R. when I next see her as a second thank you for the fruit.