Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Homemade Traditional Marmalade Recipe

On Sunday I made marmalade!

And it was a success so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. I don't know where this recipe originated from as I found it written in my old recipe book...probably written at least twenty five years ago! And it's in old currency!


(to make 10lb marmalade)

2lb Seville Oranges
3 Lemons
5 Pints Water
5lb Granulated Sugar
1oz Butter
Sterilised Jam Jars and Metal Lids 

(To sterilise the jars and lids, I wash them in the dishwasher, then place them in the oven at a low temperature whilst the marmalade is boiling.)

Wash the oranges and lemons. Then juice them.

Cut the peel into strips with a knife or scissors discarding any bad bits. You can remove the pith if you like as it makes the marmalade more bitter but I don't worry about doing this. 

Place the peel, juice and water in a large bowl.

Put the pips and any pith into a muslin bag, tie tightly and add to the bowl.

Leave this all to soak overnight.....this is optional.

Rub the inside of a preserving pan with the butter and add contents of the bowl.

Bring slowly to the boil on a low heat. This should take about an hour. Then cover the pan and simmer gently for one and a half hours or until peel is tender.

Remove the bag of pips and set aside. I put them in a jug but a better idea is to put the bag in a sieve above a jug to catch the juice. This juice contains pectin which is important in the setting of the marmalade. Later, once the bag is cool enough, squeeze out as much juice as possible and add to the pan.

Add the sugar to the pan.

Stir over a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved, bring to a rapid, rolling boil.

Boil for about half an hour, stirring every now and then to make sure the fruit doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

In the meantime, squeeze any juice from the cooled bag of pips and add this juice to the pan.

Put some saucers in the fridge for cooling.

After about half an hour of boiling, test to see if the marmalade is setting. 

I do this by putting a spoonful of marmalade on a cooled saucer, put back in the fridge and leave for a few minutes. Then if the marmalade forms a skin and makes a wrinkle, it is ready.

Whilst you are checking for setting, turn off the heat. Check every 5-10 minutes until set.

Once you are happy that the setting point has been reached, leave the marmalade for 10-20 minutes.

Then fill the sterilised, warm jars using a jam funnel if you have one. If not, then ladle in carefully. 

Top the jars with metal lids immediately and this will form a seal.

When cool add labels and pretty fabric tops!

Enjoy on toast!

I have a good old recipe for a Marmalade Pudding which I will definitely share with you soon!

Thanks for visiting!

Maggie xx

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Mum's Slouchy Knitted Hat

I've completed my Mum's hat!

I love this pretty yarn...

My Mum had it in her stash....

It's the same pattern as my slouchy hat that I showed you in my last post.....

But the hat is smoother and more slouchy because of the different yarn, I think!

Or maybe it's just my knitting!

You can find the pattern here.

Just before Christmas I made this crocheted bobble blanket (?) ......

It started life as a blanket for my cat Max but as it progressed I thought the bobbles wouldn't be very comfortable for him to lie on. Trouble is I've made it a cat blanket size and now I don't know what to do with it! Any ideas?!

Oh and this is a new 'watching tv' project I've just started....a rag rug....from the pattern I found here.

Here's my box of strip scraps I'm using.....

It's marmalade making time and today I've been busy making some!....I'll share the recipe next time if it turns out all ok!

Thanks for popping by!

Maggie xx

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A Knitted Hat and A Crocheted Blanket


We've just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary!

No lounging on a Barbados beach this year!

This photo was taken on our anniversary and by some random quirk of fate, I happen to be wearing the hat I wanted to show you today....

I came across this lovely hat pattern by Balls to the Walls Knits and decided I wanted a slouchy hat of my own.
One of the things I liked about this pattern is that it's knitted on normal needles not circular or double pointed. Here's mine....

Luckily I had some lovely self striping yarn just waiting for this project. 

My hat isn't quite as slouchy as the pattern but I still love it!

(Please excuse the portaloo in the background...our neighbours are having some building work done!)

The lack of slouchiness maybe because I changed the pattern slightly by doing k2tog instead of ssk as I found it quicker and easier but it resulted in a less lacy pattern and hence less loose and slouchy!

This is the first hat, I've knitted and I really enjoyed it although I did go wrong a few times and had to undo! My Mum has asked me to make her one too so hopefully I'll be able to show you her hat next time.

I have gathered lots of free patterns on my Pinterest Board Hats. Please feel free to have a look if you fancy making a hat. There's a mixture of knitted and crocheted patterns and all free (last time I looked!)

As you can see here, we had a smattering of snow a few days ago....

Hooray...the bulbs are pushing'll soon be Spring!

 I recently used some scrap yarn to crochet a blanket for the Spanish Stray Cats.....

They nearly didn't get it as Max was trying to claim it as I was making it!

Thanks for visiting!

Maggie xx

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Griffin Mill Lock

We went for a lovely walk down to the canal last weekend. I hadn't walked down there for months and I was very impressed by the progress made by the Cotswold Canal Trust at Griffin Mill Lock. 

The new lock gates are all in place....

The brickwork has all been restored.

Don't jump in, Spencer!

Just past the lock is the next stretch of canal to be restored....

There is a bench dedicated to Private Howard Pegler, a soldier who sadly died of his wounds in World War 1....

The next lock to be restored is Ham Mill Lock....

I've made a few more blocks for my Bright Stars quilt. It's now 6 blocks by 6. I'm going to try for 7 blocks by 7 to make it a good size for a double bed. This is quite a big quilt for me. I usually make lap or baby quilts.

I had to show you this next pic! 
Adorable Spencer with his Winnie the Pooh (a Christmas present from George)!

Thanks for visiting!

Maggie xx