Today I got my year's supply of Seville Oranges from a lovely lady who lets people pick from her tree once she's taken all the oranges she needs for her own marmalade. She doesn't ask for payment and is happy to help others. She also has a couple of really lovely Siamese cats, but as it was raining today, and Siamese will be Siamese, they had elected to sleep in the comfort of indoors rather than 'help' me pick oranges as they did last year.
So this weekend the business of making marmalade will begin. I have enough oranges for about five batches I think. Making a batch takes you at least half a day although you can do other things while the oranges are simmering for two hours.
If I am very, very lucky this haul of flavoursome fruit will last my husband most of the next twelve months. He was reasonably greedy with last year's batch and had licked the spoon clean on the last bottle by June. He's Marmalade Man. He's been eating it since he was a wee bairn in Scotland. I love my marmalade too but not to the extent he does.
For me a lot of the pleasure comes from making it rather than eating it. There's something old-fashioned and delightful about making preserves. And the home-made variety leave the supermarket stock in the shade when it comes to taste.
Roll on weekend!