Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Marmalade and Art

I think I post about Marmalade every year, but in February the knobbly, very ugly and very sour Seville oranges appear in the local grocery store for a short time, and as soon as I see them, I feel compelled to make marmalade. I think it's in my blood, as Mum made marmalade every year.
I have a vivid memory of Mum trusting me to stir the marmalade while she had to go out for half an hour, and of course as a 13 year old I had better things to do, and when she came home, there was a distinct aroma of burnt marmalade.... I was in BIG trouble. Perhaps my annual venture into marmalade making is to atone for my past mistake.

Squeezing out the juice, removing the membranes and the seeds, and cutting up the orange and lemon peel gets harder work every year, and then standing at the stove stirring and stirring, and getting hotter and hotter.....
 .... but the result is totally worth it. These 9 jars contain 8 Seville oranges, 2 lemons, 1 navel orange, some filtered water and approximately 3kg of white sugar. Enough for a few gifts and to last me a year of breakfasts. And there's even some left over for tomorrow's toast. Mum would be so proud of me.
This week our Art Group were invited to exhibit 40 paintings at the Community Centre in the nearby town of  Ajax. The art will hang in the main entrance hall. We delivered our paintings and the art curator arranged them along the walls to be hung. Some were arranged by size and some by subject and some by colour. These three are on the main entrance wall, the middle picture is a delightful image of an old cement plant... soon to be demolished.... painted by my art friend V. Love that picture!

And at the Art Group session last week, we experimented with intuitive paintings. This involved setting blobs of runny watercolor on wet paper and squishing the colours together with crumpled tissue paper, or wax paper, or even using saran wrap, and letting it dry.

I used some bubble wrap and some netting from an onion bag to create different textures.

Then when it's dry, taking the covering off gently and seeing images in the interesting patterns left.

That was the hard part! I couldn't see much, no matter which way up I held the paper, but other people saw fish and a turtle and flowers.... I'm still waiting for the turtle to reveal itself to me!

Oh well, I can always cut them up to make pretty bookmarks!


  1. Mmmmm. Home made marmelade.
    And pretty bookmarks NEVER go astray.
    Where was your work hung?

  2. When we were in Seville, Spain, a tour guide mentioned all the oranges the city sold to the U.K. every year for marmalade. The trees are everywhere, lining the streets, covered in oranges that are very sour. It was great to hear of your childhood and present day marmalade adventures with this sour citrus. Your marmalade looks deliciois.

  3. The art looks good to me. Marmalade ain't my thang though.

  4. A previous commenter has said what came to my mind when reading your post.
    In Seville the city streets have orange trees everywhere.
    The word marmalade is late 15th century: from Portuguese marmelada ‘quince jam,’ from marmelo ‘quince,’
    My Portuguese hubby always reminds me of this. I guess between then and now it has come to be synonymous with oranges.

  5. Great thoughts, and Marmalade too.

  6. Yes,I remember you posted about your homemade marmalade last year too. Your marmalade looks delicious! Congratulations! The arts are wonderful and they are beautifully displayed on the wall.

  7. Your marmalade looks so delicious. My season of making marmalade is May when “natsu-mikan” tree is abundant with bitter summer oranges. I haven’t cooked since my aunt passed away who gave me lots of “natsu-mikan” harvested from her garden. Intuitive Painting is new to me. I’d like to be as imaginative as you are.


  8. I nominated you for a beautiful blogger award.

  9. Very impressive art pieces. I hope they will sell.
    Marmalade is so good. Made me hungry for a piece of toast and some right now.
    Oh my it sure gets cold where you live. I don't think I could take that. We whine when it gets down to 40F.
    there is a brisk wind today. I hope it doesn't blow all the newly formed blossoms of the fruit trees.
    I really need my plums and almonds.

  10. Home made marmelade looks delicious!
    The arts are wonderful!!

  11. I am not sure but I think I have never seen Seville oranges around here. I love marmalade! I have made jam and jelly before but have never made marmalade. Yours looks perfect!

  12. Looking through some of your older (to me) posts. Jam and Art in the same post? Believe me I'll be back. In fack I think I'll sign up to follow you.


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