Tag Archives: Marmalade

Do Not Disturb! Baking All Day.

Trying To Make Sense Of It All!,Rocking Dog

Trying To Make Sense Of It All!

Yes indeedy, Rocking Dog is cooking all day and possibly into the night baking loveliness for tomorrows Festive Pop Up at the kennel.

Billionaires shortbread (absolutely zilch for Mr blooming Trump), Sloe gin rocky road and chocolate brownie feature on my baking list as do some Lemon & poppy seed loaves. I’m not going to tell you all my baking secrets but there will be the somewhat legendary mince pies straight out of the oven tomorrow morning.

Lovely Rocking Dog preserves have been labelled and will make divine Christmas presents for foodie friends. Make up a breakfast bag with box of granola, croissants and a jar of the Dog’s marmalade. An assortment of cheeses can be embellished with a jar of Citrus Thyme Jelly, whilst Punjab Limes can be gifted with Indian spices and airline tickets for an exotic destination! Yum, Christmas sorted!

Well folks the kitchen awaits me. Vibrant cranberry juice is dripping through a jelly bag to be made into Cranberry & Claret jelly… and there is ALL that baking. Just hope some good humoured elves turn up!

11am -1pm tomorrow. Lovely Rocking Dog edible and non edible things to buy. Mulled drinks and Rocking Dog cake to gobble around the kitchen table, and beyond. Profits from refreshments for Young Carer’s “Christmas in A Box”. I need to buy ten turkeys urgently! You will be warmly welcomed and let’s get Christmas off to a sparkling un-grinchy start.

Much love from Rocking Dog x

PS I apologise in advance if I smell like a mince pie tomorrow!

Rocking Dog Frou'd!,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Frou’d!

Labels For Limes,Rocking Dog

Labels For Limes

Jolly Jelly!,Rocking Dog

Jolly Jelly!

Legendary Rocking Dog Mince Pies,Rocking Dog

Legendary Rocking Dog Mince Pies

Our Friends Up North Cushions!,Rocking Dog

Our Friends Up North Cushions!

Don't Be Glum Chum!,Rocking Dog

Don’t Be Glum Chum!

New Season Seville Oranges,Yay!

Bowl Of Vitamin C,Rocking Dog

Bowl Of Vitamin C

The new season Seville oranges arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday. On Saturday they were magic’d into deliciously bitter marmalade. Hopefully the kennel will have a large enough supply to last out until next years transient Seville season.

I elected to use the recipe in my Bloomsbury Cookbook by Jans Ondaatje Rolls. The Marmalade recipe is one scribbled onto a piece of paper by Roger Fry. Fry was an artist, critic and lecturer. He is particularly remembered for bringing
Post-Impressionism to Britain and founding the Omega Workshops. It seems that he also made exceedingly good marmalade!

After leaving the sliced oranges to soak in water for 24 hours, a boil up and then a further soak it was finally time to marmalade!

The filled jars await labels, and a cool dark place to call home.

Despite the winter greyness, I wish you a very happy productive week. Love Rocking Dog x

Delivered To The Door,Rocking Dog

Delivered To The Door

Perfect Peel,Rocking Dog

Perfect Peel

Marmalade Recipe,Rocking Dog

Marmalade Recipe

Orange Anatomy,Rocking Dog

Orange Anatomy

Peel & Pips,Rocking Dog

Peel & Pips

In The Jar,Rocking Dog

In The Jar

Rocking Dog Has Been Getting Pickled!

Destined For Pickling,Rocking Dog

Destined For Pickling

Rocking Dog has spent a weekend or two pickling, marmalading and jelly-making. Spiced pickled organic oranges, Punjab pickled limes, Pickled Pears, Spiced apple & cider jelly, Pomegranate and pear jelly, Red grapefruit and cranberry marmalade, Sicilian organic lemon & ginger marmalade, Chilli and garlic mustard, Wholegrain mustard with honey…..and there’s more pickled deliciousness coming out of the Rocking Dog kitchen later today.

These preserves would make great gifts and will be on sale at the kennel on 30th November & 11th December (details on my home page www.rocking dog.co.uk)

Wishing you a great start to the week. Stay Cosy!

For Punjab Limes,Rocking Dog

For Punjab Limes

Add Pears,Rocking Dog

Add Pears

For Jelly,Rocking Dog

For Jelly

In The Pan,Rocking Dog

In The Pan

Figs To Pickle,Rocking Dog

Figs To Pickle

Jars & Labels,Rocking Dog

Jars & Labels

Best In Show- Frenchay Flower Show 2016

Flowers For The Show, Rocking Dog

Flowers For The Show

Rocking Dog was asked to help judge the food classes at Frenchay Flower Show on Saturday. It was a real experience- I do so love a good flower show. Having entered the childrens’ classes with handwriting, painting, miniature garden at this flower show half a century ago (how is that ever possible?!), it was a real honour to try my hand at judging.

Working with an experienced judge I worked my way through tasting about 25 pickles, 10 marmalades, 15 jams, fruit cakes, breads, shortbread, pastry items, and Victoria Sandwiches. If truth be known there were many pickles i’d have honestly rather not tasted…but it was all in a days work!

Predominantly it was about the flavour- definitely substance over style. It was an absolute bonus if a delicious product married with a beautifully labelled jar or pretty plate.

The most competitive class is that of baking a prizewinning Victoria Sandwich. In particular a group of men from the village set themselves the task of trying to win the prestigious red certificate. The cake has to be made with a prescribed list of ingredients and baked in a particular size of tin. You would think therefore that the twenty four or so cakes would look fairly uniform. Aahh no! Some cakes were eliminated at the beginning of the judging process because they had failed to rise, were over baked or had other cakey issues. Beatrice and I were left with a core of six or seven cakes that required further investigation. They were cut, tasted and then deliberated over. I am pleased to report that two men would be cawing about their prize winning cakes in the pub that evening!

Thankfully Beatrice and I very much agreed on every prizewinning jar, cake or loaf. However, I think the sourdough and artisan breads were rather new-fangled for her, and the crusts just a little too tough. Personally I think i’d have done a little bit of certificate swapping in this section! It’s such a subjective process.

One of our last tasks left was to break open some hens eggs to determine the freshness before awarding certificates for best clutch of freshly laid eggs.

Thankfully the wines were tasted by another set of judges, not only would I have been full I would have been literally staggering out of the marquee.

It was a really enjoyable two hours, and I got to learn so much. Although I wanted to stay and buy plants, browse and soak up the sun I was feeling a little jaded. I never did find out whether the hoped for Lancaster Bomber did its fly past. I hope so, it really is such a rare and wonderful sight.

Flowers, brass band, stalls, ice creams, patchwork, bees, cream teas, tombola, and radiant sunshine, it’s a quintessential little bit of English village life. Long may it continue.

Dazzling Dahlia, Rocking Dog

Dazzling Dahlia

Scented Blooms, Rocking Dog

Scented Blooms

Fiery Flowers, Rocking Dog

Fiery Flowers

Tidy Onions, Rocking Dog

Tidy Onions

Going For The Prize, Rocking Dog

Going For The Prize

Paper Fruit & Veg', Rocking Dog

Paper Fruit & Veg’

Best In Class, Rocking Dog

Best In Class

Preserves To Taste, Rocking Dog

Preserves To Taste

Embroidered Flowers, Rocking Dog

Embroidered Flowers

Making Marvellous Marmalade!

Spectacular Seville's, Rocking Dog

Spectacular Seville’s

Seville oranges are in the shops! These particular oranges whose bitter characteristics are perfect for making marmalade come into shops in a blaze of glory in January and will have disappeared in a few short weeks.

I am following a different recipe this year, taken from The Bloomsbury Cookbook by Jans Ondantje Rolls. It’s one which is a bit of a three stage recipe and is quite useful because it allows me to seek out enough preserving sugar, jam pots and covers over a couple of days. The first stage is to slice the oranges, de-pip them, and leave them to soak in water for 24 hours. The second stage involves boiling up the orange slices until they are tender, and again leaving the oranges to sit for another 24 hour spell. Today is the day when the alchemy begins with further boiling, the addition of the sugar and then hoping and praying for a good set. I am thankful to my Home Economics teacher Miss Lawrence for teaching me the flake and wrinkle test to decipher when the hot marmalade can be decanted into spotlessly clean jars. My time spent in the dusting room at Filton High School wasn’t quite so enjoyable. Yes there really was a room where we girls learnt how to dust, lay a tray for an invalid, make a bed etc… The boys meanwhile were making 1970’s metal wall art etc..Grrrrrrrrr!

Today’s recipe is one that was used by Roger Fry. Fry was an English artist and art critic who belonged to the Bloomsbury Group. The Bloomsbury’s were an influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists. They were a loose collective of friends and relatives who lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury during the first half of the 20th Century. Virginia Woolf her sister Vanessa Bell together with Lytton Strachey and Duncan Grant all belonged to the group, along with a number of others. They were often despised for their tangled love lives, being conscientious objectors and for having the audacity to bring Post Impressionist Art to British shores. Fry obviously also liked making marmalade!

A good few years ago I went to visit Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s Sussex retreat, Charleston Farmhouse. I absolutely loved it, furniture, walls, doors, pots all painted and printed, tapestry’d and scrawled- visually eye popping. The garden too was inspirational, a cottage garden with mosaics, brick paths, gnarled apple trees, pots and beating sunshine. I did not want to leave.

It had always been a bit of a dream of mine to own a little piece of Bloomsbury art, something that had tangibly been scrutinised by Virginia Woolf or witnessed soirees, trysts and debates. A few years ago a piece purporting to be by Vanessa Bell came up on a certain online auction site. With the winning bid I have enjoyed my picture (on the back there’s a rather grey man in a loin cloth!) Unfortunately it now sports a rather nasty tear, Andyman managed to fall off a stepladder whilst putting up a curtain pole. Cracked head (the joy of flagstones) requiring stitching, torn artwork, an amazing lamp smashed and walls requiring painting it was quite an expensive and painful misadventure!

So today I will be busy in a somewhat steamy kitchen with my Bloomsbury marmalade, and thoughts of trying to revisit blissful Charleston hopefully sometime very soon.

Shall We Begin? Rocking Dog

Shall We Begin?

Precious Pectin, Rocking Dog

Precious Pectin

Torn Art, Rocking Dog

Torn Art