20 January 2015

Jo Malone - inspiration for any business

Photo from Vogue.co.uk

Starting a business isn't always particularly easy, keeping it running perhaps even harder especially if you're juggling it around family and other commitments.  However, every now and again you come across someone who inspires you and keeps you going, for me this is Jo Malone.  I've worn her fragrances for a number of years  but it wasn't until I'd heard her on Radio 4 Desert Island discs whilst cooking one Friday that I really knew her story.  If you missed it you can listen here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04xmqd6

I have to admit, whilst listening and learning about her humble business beginnings, her positive attitude towards life and the battles she and her family have shared I was left sobbing over the chopping board! Lets banish 'Blue Monday' and turn each day into a bright, sunny one!

Although our business is happily small, it wouldn't be here if it were not for the tireless help of my husband and friends, sometimes it just takes a moment to stop and think - life is rather amazing no matter what it may throw at us!!! 

8 January 2015

Recipe: Snowdrop Cottage Seville Orange Marmalade

As promised here is our Snowdrop Cottage marmalade recipe.  I use fairly large quantities as there seems little point in only making a few jars!  The quantities stated will work well in a Maslin sized pan without causing any problems bubbling over. Roughly speaking 3kgs of Seville oranges will provide about 18 jars (340g).

3kgs Seville oranges
4 Lemons
9 Pints water
5kg Sugar

1.  Wash the oranges and lemons. Peel the skin and then slice into fine shreds and add to your pan.
2.  Cut the oranges and lemons in half and  squeeze the juice from them retaining the pips to one side.
3.  Add the juice to the pan.
4.  Add the water to the pan.
5. Tie the pips in a bag of muslin and add to the water and shredded fruit skin.
6. Simmer until the skin has become soft and the liquid reduced by about half.
7.  Stir the sugar in and allow it to dissolve completely over a low heat.  If you rush this stage and fail to dissolve the sugar properly crystals will form in your finished marmalade.
8. Once fully dissolved bring your marmalade up to a rolling boil.
9. Once setting point has been reached allow the marmalade to cool slightly before pouring into sterilised jars.


For the love of Marmalade.... said Paddington

Freshly made Seville Orange marmalade

Marmalade has been with us for quite some time, some say since 1700 when a badly damaged Spanish ship with a cargo of oranges found safety in Dundee harbour.  The cargo was sold cheaply to a down on his luck Merchant and his wife then made marmalade.  Perhaps it's this Merchant that then found his way to deepest darkest Peru and introduced Paddington's Aunt Lucy to it!

To withstand the tangy, bitter and somewhat bracing marmalade known as Seville you're probably a child reared before the 'naughties'.  Home made Seville orange marmalade was often on our breakfast table whilst we were growing up, a long with a tea pot and a  lot of chatter with my siblings!  These days it seems our breakfast tables are more likely to be adorned with mass produced cereals and and sweet tasting long life bread.  More and more of us are forgoing the rituals of breakfast and instead opting for a coffee picked up on the go instead.

Let's bring back the humble Seville orange marmalade!!  With a little patience and time you can make this liquid amber gold and proudly display it on your breakfast table with a huge smirk of satisfaction on your face!  A word of warning though!  Do not even try to attempt to make this marmalade unless you are child and partner free for the day.  You have a radio to listen to and plenty of time, you're in it for the long haul!

If you'd like to have a go at making some Seville orange marmalade I'll post my recipe shortly.  However, for those who just fancy trying a jar, come and see us at one of our markets and try some we cooked up this week (click here). Happy Marmalade making!!!