Tag Archives: Seville Oranges

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

Cheery Projects To Cast Off Winter Gloom

Winter Mood Board,Rocking Dog

Winter Mood Board

Rocking Dog has been doing cheery projects to cast off winter gloom. No frosts, no snow, no cold but lots of grey, damp and mud!

In between all the usual domestic dross I have been striving to complete some more constructive and pleasurable tasks. Yesterday morning I made Christmas cakes, “Oh no you didn’t, Oh yes I did!” An 80’s Christmas themed charity Burn’s Night is on the cards next month. I am going to hone my spiky snow scene icing and have plastic robin , snowman and cake frill at the ready! Incidentally there’ll be turkey and all the trimmings together with Christmas pud’s and retro’ cocktails. I’m nursing our Christmas tree carefully in the hope I can put it back up. Sad but true!

Christmas cakes baked, I moved to Beloved Berlina to creatively sew. Sewing makes me happy, especially with two or three omnibus editions of “The Archers” in the bag!

Despite the mud and greyness Real Live Rocking Dog is always up for a walk. No matter the weather it always feels great to be out. The change of seasons brings a myriad of different foliage, wildlife, noise and smells. Mossy twigs and ferns placed in a large majolica jug beautifully brings the outside in.

Very cheerily Seville oranges have started to trickle into the shops. I feel a therapeutic marmalade making session coming on!

Winter Walk,Rocking Dog

Winter Walk

Winter Vase,Rocking Dog

Winter Vase

Winter Fuel,Rocking Dog

Winter Fuel

Sugar & Spice,Rocking Dog

Sugar & Spice

Eggs To Crack,Rocking Dog

Eggs To Crack

Happy Bake,Rocking Dog

Happy Bake

Comfort Food,Rocking Dog

Comfort Food

Time To Sew,Rocking Dog

Time To Sew

The Sevilles' Are In Town!,Rocking Dog

The Sevilles’ Are In Town!

The Dog Concocts A Tipple For Fashionista’s !

Raw Ingredients, Rocking Dog

Raw Ingredients

This won’t be ready to serve up to front row London Fashion Week goers, but in 40 days time this Vin D’Orange will be ready to quaff!

I couldn’t resist the very last of the season’s Seville oranges, especially as they were reduced. With enough Marmalade to see us through the year, these oranges are for a blush coloured tipple and a robust Orange and Apricot Chutney.

I haven’t tried Vin D’Orange before, so it’s a little bit of an experiment. Very easy to make I hope it will taste simply divine. Perhaps when it’s been filtered and bottled i’ll serve it up with little fragments of gold leaf in sparkling antique cocktail glasses, put the gramophone on and attempt the Charleston ….or not!

This post harks back to the heady days of the 1930’s when life was a blast as long as you weren’t affected by the Great Depression. The Savoy Cocktail Book was printed in 1930 and an exciting find in my Mother in Law’s garage. It was originally destined for the bin, and now resides in a cabinet with other coveted historical food books. I love its wonderful Art Deco illustrations and unlike my contemporary cookery books this one is perfect with no splashes or splats!

As for the tablecloth, I bought that from a shop in Clifton Arcade and it’s an original Deco cloth which I in fact usually wear as a scarf. Meanwhile the photo of the wonderful bathing beauties are of Andyman’s Grandmother Nancy, and relative Chrissie. Probably taken on a shiveringly cold Scottish beach the 1930’s image exudes the era with parasols, modest swimsuits and swim hats. The clock is powered electrically, and with its jade green and cream colour it is typical of the period. Unfortunately I couldn’t lay my hands on my Deco cocktail shakers, no doubt they are bundled up very unceremoniously in my stupendously untidy cellar!

Lets hope these oranges do their magic over the next month and that we find something lovely to toast.

Cocktail Time!, Rocking Dog

Cocktail Time!

Golden Days, Rocking Dog

Golden Days

Seville Orange Magic, Rocking Dog

Seville Orange Magic

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