In more ordered households than this, pots of marmalade have been glowing on the shelves for several weeks. In this household, however, the appearance of Seville oranges triggers only indecision ...
Shall I bother this year? Or not?
Decision is achieved only when Seville oranges disappear from the greengrocer's. When, naturally, it becomes imperative to make marmalade because I really, really wanted to all along.
Last weekend the last oranges in London were tracked down. Strangely enough, in Tesco. Being Tesco, of course, they had no preserving sugar only jam sugar which is entirely different. Third supermarket produced correct sugar by which time I was too tired to bother.
Oranges sit on kitchen windowsill all week looking reproachful as only marmalade oranges can. Calculations are done with calculator to adjust weight of oranges minus mouldy ones that got chucked, plus or minus or should it be divided or multiplied by 4lbs of sugar. The answer to this sum, as ever, is sod it, it'll turn out all right.
I thought I'd make marmalade on Monday but ended up having to work. I was out all day on Tuesday, not sure what happened on Wednesday, Thursday kind of disappeared and I was really in the mood on Friday but had a longstanding lunch date. Saturday, you'd think, would have been ideal but I'd promised two little boys that I'd take them out.
I have never been one to spring from my bed greeting the morning with vigour and energy. Which is why the marmalade went on to boil at 8pm. That delectable orange scent is now pervading the house...
If only I'd made the dinner before I used all the big saucepans.