It pays to read the recipe first, doesn’t it? But no, I didn’t bother. I was all set to make some marmalade, something I had never done before. Although I’ve made plenty of jam in my time, but marmalade was a different proposition altogether. We were visiting friends last week in their new house and they had a huge grapefruit tree covered in fruit in the back garden. But they, like Robin, can’t eat grapefruit because of their medication. I don’t have the same problem, so I gathered up a big bag of the luscious fruit to take home, and have been enjoying a nice fresh grapefruit most mornings for breakfast. And before I ate them all, I decided to make some marmalade.
Robin was sent up to the attic to retrieve my large preserving pan, and I got to work. Oh no, it said in the recipe to prepare the fruit, add some water and then leave it soaking overnight! I didn’t know you had to do that – but if I’d read the recipe earlier I would have.
Oh dear - what a mess I made getting it all ready (I always say I’m a messy cook!) I had to peel the fruit first, and cut it up. Not finely, as it said, I like my marmalade nice and chunky. Then the flesh from the grapefruit, oranges and lemons were cut up and put into the food processor in batches. By the time I had finished there was juice everywhere. But the fruit was ready, and soaking, and I’ll cook it all up tomorrow in my big pan.
I had another job to do in the kitchen as well. Today is Robin’s birthday so I decided to make him a cake. Not just any cake, but a carrot cake. Each year, he trots out the story of one particular birthday some time ago when I had promised him a home made carrot cake, but didn’t get around to making it. Why? Who knows, that part of the story is lost in the mists of time after all these years. But here it is at last, a carrot cake with cream cheese icing, just for the birthday boy.