It can be no coincidence that the short season for Seville Oranges coincides with what feels like the longest most grey, cold month of the year. These sharp aromatic oranges never fail to bring sunshine into my kitchen. Despite still having a cupboard full marmalade from last year, I couldn't resist a morning spent juicing and slicing, bubbling and boiling. The house was filled with the scent of citrus and I could imagine sun baked orange groves.
And while the cut peel simmered I managed to file my tax return... Another January ritual completed!
And now I have another eight jars of marmalade waiting for labels. Sunshine in jars!
Despite loving the stuff, I don't really get through much in a year. I'm the only one who eats it but as I rarely eat toast I might use a couple of jars at most. Since Christmas we've been trying to eat more healthily and so far there has been no baking this year (do not fret on our behalf, we've only just finished the Christmas cake) so the occasion of a friend's birthday gave the perfect excuse to bake a cake... And use up some of the marmalade of course.
Nigel Slater's marmalade cake... A wholesome cake that is good all year round but especially in January.
Not really what I would call a celebration cake but it's amazing what a few candles can do.
And because someone indoors was having a moan that I hadn't made cake for him... There was a marmalade bread and butter pudding this evening too. Not only did it use up marmalade but also some hot cross buns that I found lurking in the depths of the freezer.
It seems like our healthy eating regime has fallen by the wayside but it's worth for a bit of sunshine in January.