Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Great Marmalade Exchange

I grew up in a house where marmalade was a staple of the table.  My mother, MD, was mad for marmalade, and she would heap it on hot buttered toast at breakfast or at afternoon tea, or on crackers during cocktail hour.  She loved marmalade so much that she would dip a spoon into a jar and eat it straight, licking the spoon clean.

Two precious jars of Reggie's
Kumquat Marmie

It turns out the apple—or, rather the orange—didn't fall all that far from the tree, as Reggie is intensely fond of marmalade, too.

And he has been on a bit of a marmalade journey of late . . .

Until recently the only marmalade I ate or cared for was James Keiller & Son Ltd.'s Dundee Orange Marmalade, the world's first commercially made marmalade, which has been in continuous production since the company's founding in 1797.  Thick, intensely flavored, full of rind, and verging on bitter, Keiller's Dundee Orange Marmalade has always been the marmalade I reach for when stocking my pantry.

"Oh dear, bought marmalade.  Dear me, I call that very feeble."
Image courtesy of Shepperton Studios

When I was a boy Keiller's Dundee Marmalade was sold in stoneware crocks that we saved when emptied of their delicious contents.  We used the crocks to hold pencils and pens, which I still do to this day.  By the time I went to college, though, Keiller & Son had dispensed with their handsome crocks and substituted the far less aesthetically pleasing milk-glass jars that are still found today on the shelves in supermarkets the world over.  Keiller's old stoneware marmalade crocks are now considered to be collectibles and can be found for sale in Group Shoppes and on eBay.

Two of Reggie's Keiller & Son Ltd.
Dundee Marmalade stoneware crocks

Although I've tried other commercially available marmalades over the years, including small-batch artisinal alternatives, none have inspired me to forsake the familiar embrace of my old standby, Keiller & Son Ltd. Dundee Orange Marmalade.

That is, until I discovered the surpassing pleasures of homemade marmalade.  Once I had tasted it for the first time I vividly understood why the Countess of Trentham character—as brilliantly played by Dame Maggie Smith in Gosford Park—sat in her bed and sniffed "Oh dear" when confronted by a pot of "bought" marmalade on her breakfast tray.

It turns out Lady Trentham knew of what she spoke.

My friend Katherine's homemade
marmalade, liberally spread on English
muffins in our kitchen at Darlington

I found out exactly how sublime homemade marmalade is shortly before Christmas, when I received a jar of it in the mail.  It was a thank-you gift from my childhood friend Katherine, who had recently stayed with us at Darlington.  Katherine had made a batch of marmalade, her first ever.  Tasting Katherine's marmalade was a revelation!  Gorgeously orange in color, deliciously flavorful, packed with rind, and just sweet enough, it was infinitely better than my dear old Keiller's of Dundee.  I polished off Katherine's marmalade tout de suite.  And yes, Dear Reader, I even ate some of it with a spoon, just as MD used to do all those years ago.

One does so adore receiving a brown-paper
package tied up with string, particularly
when it is secured with sealing wax

Fast forward to the New Year.  In early February I was perusing one of my favorite new blogs, Chronica Domus, where I was delighted to read of the writer's fondness for marmalade and her experience in making batches of it annually with her husband.  I commented that I, too, adore marmalade.  We exchanged emails, and the next thing I knew a package containing several jars of Chronica Domus' homemade marmalade was delivered to my door.

What treasures can these be,
nestled in excelsior?

As I was about to leave for a week's holiday, and the package was delivered to my city apartment, I placed it in the refrigerator to preserve it while I was away.  I wanted to open it at Darlington and make a record of it to post here for your reading pleasure, Dear Reader.

Three jars of homemade marmalade!  What Heaven!
Blood orange, Seville orange, and grapefruit bergamot!

Coincidentally, I had been considering making my own batch of marmalade.  But I wanted to make it with kumquats instead of oranges, as we have a little kumquat tree at Darlington that bears fruit every January and February, and it had just produced a bumper crop of its tasty, zesty fruit.  Last year I preserved our kumquat harvest in syrup, but this year I wanted to do something else.  Having just received a jar of marmalade from my childhood friend Katherine, and now several more from Chronica Domus, I was inspired to try my hand at making kumquat marmalade.  "Eureka!"

Chronica Domus' three jars of marmalade,
appearing like stained glass windows in sunlight

So, in the days leading up to our leaving on holiday, Reggie made a batch of kumquat marmalade.  But he decided that he wouldn't call it marmalade, Dear Reader.  No, he decided to call it marmie, the same way our brethren down under in Australia refer to a barbecue as a barbie.  You get the idea . . .

Chronicus Domus' blood orange marmie
spooned atop crème fraîche on a cracker.
It's even better than caviar!

Since I had never made marmalade before, or jams or jellies for that matter, I had no idea how much work it would be to make my kumquat marmie, nor what a tiny amount of the treasured jam would result from all my labors.

I found the recipe for my kumquat marmie on David Lebovitz's marvelous blog about living and cooking and eating in Paris.  I've been following his blog for some time now, and I enjoyed reading his book The Sweet Life in Paris.  In making my batch of kumquat marmie I fiddled with his recipe a bit.  I had more kumquats than the recipe called for (our little tree is quite the producer of fruit), and I used a bit less sugar.

Reggie's kumquat marmie, with his potted
kumquat tree in the background

Being a complete neophyte at making preserves, Reggie was surprised to learn what a considerable undertaking it is to make a batch of marmalade.  It took him several days and many, many hours spent slicing, de-seeding, and cooking the mixture of kumquats, lemons, and sugar the recipe called for in order to produce his kumquat marmie.  It was hardly what I'd call drudgery, though, as I enjoyed the project from beginning to end, and making the marmie filled our city apartment (I made it during the week over several evenings after work) with a wonderful citrusy scent.  The resulting marmalade is marvelously tangy, tart, and puckery—much like a sourball candy.  Spreading it on a hot toasted and buttered English muffin, or on a cracker with cream cheese, one truly appreciates what the expression "food of the gods" means!

Reggie's kumquat marmie

My second surprise when making my kumquat marmie was how little of it all my efforts produced—just three diminutive six-ounce jars!  I had assumed that I'd have at least four or five jars of it, but sadly that was not the case.  Given all the time and labor involved, I consider those three jars to be as precious as if I had made them from platinum instead of kumquats!

Actually, there are now only two jars of it left.  I've already consumed one of them.

This weekend I am going to mail the two remaining jars of my kumquat marmie to my friends Katherine and Chronica Domus, returning the favor of their thoughtful gifts to me of their homemade marmalade, thus completing the Great Marmalade Exchange.

Tissued, bowed, and ready to mail

By the way, next year I plan on making a larger batch of kumquat marmie as I have others I'd like to send it to as well.  The first and foremost on my list is Ms. Meg Fielding of Pigtown Design blog fame, who has given Reggie two jars of her delicious homemade jams in the last year and who was supposed to get one of his kumquat marmies . . . at least when he assumed that he'd produce more than only three little jars of it.

Oh, and what about the marmalade I received from Chronica Domus?  So far I've only opened one of the three jars she sent, of blood orange marmalade, and it is absolutely out-of-this-world delicious!  I look forward to trying the the two other marmalades she sent, too, one made with Seville oranges and the other with grapefruit and bergamot.

Now that I'm officially smitten with homemade marmalade, I'm afraid that I'll never be able to look at dear old Keiller's Dundee with quite the same ardor as I had before . . .

Tell me, Dear Reader, do you like marmalade, too?  Have you ever made it?

Photographs by Boy Fenwick and Reggie Darling

84 comments:

  1. I suppose there's no fooling you by putting supermarket marmalade in Mason jars with a handwritten label? That lets me out of the exchange circuit, I'm afraid.

    My maternal grandmother made delicious marmalades from the local fruits available, including scupperdines and muscadines, grapes that grow in the wild in parts of the South.

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  2. I make it every year – each year, that is, that WholeFoods sells bitter oranges. Whether they are the correct Seville oranges I haven't a clue but they make a deliciously dark and flavorful marmalade full of peel. The Celt and I adore the stuff and shall be eating it in the morning for Easter breakfast on hot cross buns.

    I haven't read such a good article about food in a long time. Happy Easter to you and Boy.

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  3. I can only hope I will be on the receiving end for the next batch! xx.DT

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  4. Yes, I have made marmalade - kumquat ginger. I've also made curds, jams and jellies. It's very satisfying to see them lined up in the sunlight and to listen to the lids seal with a 'plink'.

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  5. I love everything about this post-- the subject, the sentiments, the photos--simply wonderful! Orange marmalade reminds me of breakfasts and after-school snacks growing up. My father absolutely adored marmalade and slathered it on generously buttered toast, pan de sal (Philippine breakfast rolls) or saltines. Thank you for taking me back to that place and time!

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  6. Love it and if it wasn't Easter Sunday I'd dash out to buy some, I remember my mother making grapefruit marmalade when our grapefruit tree had an overabundance of fruit one year.

    In the 1970s Rose's Lime marmalade was the fashion do you remember it ?

    Finally have you heard that fairy story of marmalade being invented by a French cook distractedly stirring oranges and saying over and over " Marie est malade" ..the oranges turned to marmalade as the chef stirred them too long.....Marie being Mary Queen of Scots

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  7. Never made, but enjoyed daily on toast and I'm not as discerning as you. The supermarket brand suits me quite well - but then I don't know the difference.

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  8. Hello Reggie,

    I am honored (and blushing) to have played a part in your wonderful post and in your developing pursuit of the tastiest homemade marmalade. Boy did a fine job illustrating the adventure as it unfolded, and you, of course, chose the perfect words to capture both the taste and the moment. Bravo!

    Now that you've experienced the reward (and effort) involved in making your kumquat marmie, I'm certain it will become an annual rite of winter at Darlington House. I cannot wait to try it for myself.

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  9. I've a recipe by a dear friend - a mentor in my education and collection of French Porcelain/Faience. She added Meyer Lemons to her Kumquat Marmalade. Delish!

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  10. My great-grandmother used to make excellent marmalade. i made some when I was younger and somehow got out of the habit. You remind me that I had contemplated trying again. Perhaps next year.

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  11. Dear friends who live on the Outer Banks do a peach/orange marmalade and it is delish. Easy and very simple. Want the recipe? Let me know via answer and I'll send by email.
    A faithful reader.

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  12. Failing the delicious sounding homemade by yourself and others, try Hero's Bitter Orange Marmalade:
    http://parthenonfoods.com/hero-bitter-orange-marmalade-340g-p-719.html
    or Frank Cooper's Vintage Oxford Marmalade:
    http://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/frank-coopers-vintage-oxford-marmalade?gclid=CIv7iJSn7r0CFYcipQodz30Arw

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  13. Marmalade and real salted butter on most things that are toasted, is quite simple the best food, and I totally agree that there is no substitute for home made. Tell me Reggie, are what you call toasted English muffins, what we refer to as toasted tea cakes?

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    Replies
    1. Also, can I please, please have a jar of your Kumquat Marmie?

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  14. My husband is the marmalade connoisseur in this family. I grew up in a grape jelly family and my first exposure to orange marmalade was through him. Dundee Orange Marmalade was and is his favorite but for many years, we just couldn't afford it. And so the special gift from our daughter to her father each Christmas was a jar of Dundee Orange Marmalade. And that tradition continues to this day. I loved every word of this marvelous post.

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  15. At one time I made marmalade but I cheated and used the seville oranges that are already prepared. The one thing that was special about my marmalade was the great quantity of scotch whiskey I poured into it, MrBP loved it.
    I can no longer eat bread so I looked at this post longingly. There is nothing better than a good marmalade on delicious toast.
    The colour of your marmie is so pretty, just stunning!
    Happy Easter to you and Boy.xox

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  16. How amazing that I should open your marmalade post just as I put the final bite of a homemade biscuit topped with marmalade in my mouth! I was the weird kid that loved marmalade, anchovies, oysters, etc. (although not together). My first Christmas as an adult I made cranberry butter, apple butter and lemon marmalade to give as gifts. They were all delicious but it was the marmalade that started me on a life-long quest for marmalade recipes. I hit pay dirt several years ago when I bought The River Cottage Preserves Handbook (Pam Corbin) at Roster Brother in Ellsworth Maine. Although the book was purchased for a rose hip preserves recipe (a Maine rituals is to harvest hips in September and take them home to VA) the book also has numerous marmalade recipes. My favorite is grapefruit and, yes, I grew up eating candied grapefruit peel. Thank you for a delightful post!

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  17. Dear Reggie, You must be in marmalade heaven! I love marmalade on toasted, buttered Wolferman's English Muffins. Dear friend Andrea from French Basketeer sent me some of her homemade marmalade over the holidays and it was delicious!
    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  18. My mother and father also love their marmie. I suspect yours is BEYOND.

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  19. Reggie, you are truly a man for all seasons and this is the season to break out the fine jams, jellies and marmalade. For those who do not appreciate the thought and work that goes into a gift from one's kitchen, let me remind you that making marmalade is an act of love. So, I take it I won't be getting a jar this year, but may I suggest you do one of those "giveaways" so famous on the blogs now days and perhaps we can all enter our names and emails to be the grand winner of one of Reggie's prized jars. Here's hoping!!

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  20. Reggie, the marmalade looks divine and my store bought blueberry preserves shall henceforth seem inadequate

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  21. At our museum, one of the scientists who studies Abalone, is also a master marmalade maker. We enjoy his creations at tea each afternoon.

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    1. Hey Mimi!!
      Thank you so much for that comment! You are so lucky! Tea; with homemade marmalade by one of your scientists! (not to mention one who studies abalone.....I live in Santa Barbara and I have belonged to "Friends of the Sea Otter" fifty years or something.!) (he will get it)!

      That is a real commentary on the lovely "perks" of working at your museum! You have an artist and a "giver" as a colleague !

      Major life-enhancing thing! How completely wonderful!!

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    2. What a delightful post about one of my favorite combinations - marmalade and English muffins! Also I see you have the only toaster that properly toasts the muffin - Dualit!

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  22. You have completely ruined me for any other marmalade! I have to say however; it is not complete ruination!!
    My brother-in-law's aunt; McEvoy Ranch Meyer Lemon Marmalade!

    (google "McEvoy Ranch and check out her Chinoiserie Pavilion!) Rarely have I envied anything! The green eyes completely took over when I spied this "entertainment pavilion!" Good Lord! And she is the loveliest darling woman!

    I think you can buy the marmalade! (organic...need I say?)

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  23. Hello Reggie,

    Gosh, what a mountain of Marmalade you have here. Lucky, lucky you. Here in the Motherland Marmalade is as rare as Dodo eggs and, when one does come across it, it costs the same as the economy of a small country. So, we have to stock up when visiting dear old Blighty and then it is for Oxford Coarse Cut that we enthuse and purchase!

    Parcels are such an excitement. Alas, nothing can be sent here to Budapest for fear of it going 'missing' in the postal system. We have every confidence that your glorious jars of orange nectar would definitely have never appeared at our door! But, what delight and deliciousness these parcels have brought.

    Aged parents did make Marmalade but we have never tried. The whole business really does seem to be a campaign and does, it seems to us, require starting out with a ton of fruit and ending up with meagre portions when it has all boiled down! Still, we are quite sure, as we fondly remember our own parents, Marmalade making, that your own and other homemade versions are really foods of the Gods. Perfect!

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  24. Yum, it looks delicious. Reggie, it may be the peel in the marmalade which you love, but if it isn't, I have a fab recipe for jelly marmalade which is almost no work (it takes time, but not work). Let me know if you'd like it - you could do kumquat jelly marmalade and give it away - it makes a lot so could be a back up to your other recipe.....

    cathy

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  25. Thanks so much for the mention! I am just not plotting to use the early rhubarb for another batch of the strawberry-rhubarb preserves.

    I remember that Williams-Sonoma used to have a kit for making marmalade, with proper Seville oranges, as nothing else is bitter enough to impart the right taste. I haven't seen it in their catalogues for ages, but wish they'd re-start that product.

    Congratulations on the successful marmie-making! xo

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    1. Yes, I used to use the W-S kit but I've been told they discontinued it several years ago. I'm inspired by this post to try making it from scratch next autumn.

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  26. Reggie, I have been reading your blog for some time now, and always enjoy your posts. I must comment, as I am very interested in making potted delights. Your kumquat marmie looks delightful, and the preserves that your friends sent made me seek out my marmalade receipts again. It is a lot of work, but don't you feel such a sense of accomplishment and anticipation as you observe the jewel like finished product?

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  27. Absolutely adore the stuff; I make blackberry and vanilla jame and swap it for home-made marmalade made by a patient friend. I saw a very witty kitchen feature of a back-lit shelf of marmalade which made it glow like pots of jewels. I would steal the idea but it gets eaten too quickly in my house.

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  28. I don't do marmalades.

    In all seriousness, this promises to be a very expensive, albeit stylish, marmalade exchange. Never mind the ingredients, but who is now going to send dear old Reg a homemade concoction in a jelly jar wrapped in plain brown paper? I'm already thinking of the tags, the wrapping paper, the faille ribbon in an appropriate Reggie D red, the engraved "from the kitchen of" labels, the wood box with the strawy thinghie....oh no. I cannot top this, and just when I was thinking of sending you some of my famous homemade mustard....

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    1. I get it. Just don't be intimidated.

      Reggie is a "regular guy"! Frankly; he should be heading the United Nations!

      Wow! What a diplomat!!!

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  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. (Editor's Note: Reggie has removed these two follow on comments to his friend Lindaraxa's because there was an apparent misunderstanding of the joking comment she left by another of his adored commenters, Penelope Bianchi. Reggie's motivation in removing the follow on comments stemmed from his wish to maintain harmony amongst all of is friends, and his regard for both ladies. He apologizes to Ms. Bianchi for his lack of judgement in publishing her follow on comment in the first place, as he knows she would have recognized that Lindaraxa wrote hers in jest had she known her as I do, as a dear and funny friend. Thank you both, ladies, for your understanding and patience with Reggie)

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    3. Dear Reggie,

      I took no offense as I realized PB had not caught on to the fact it was in jest. I appreciate your clearing this up as this has always been a fun place to drop in and banter with Reggie.

      I have made many good friends through this marvelous blog and hope to count Penelope Bianchi as one of them in the future.

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    4. Indeed you did! I consider you a lovely friend!
      (One of my problems with email; is it is "tone-deaf")

      Alas; it just one of my problems with email! I am also drowning in it....and to answer another comment......I am a regular reader; not always do I have time to read all the comments!

      EEEK!!
      Thank you Reggie!

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    5. What a lovely and civilized solution to a disagreement!

      Don't you agree?? Reggie head of the United Nations!!

      Delete
  30. Dear Reggie,

    Like Lindaraxa, I don't do marmalade, I detest the stuff.

    But those who do like it and always make their own (finding all the commercial brands too sweet) assure me that Alan Davidson's recipe, which is simplicity itself, works very well, and, as he says, after forty years of making marmalade, he has eliminated all the unnecessary frills with no loss of flavour. You will find this recipe (from an unpublished letter to The Times, in Davidson's A Kipper with my Tea (London [1988], Macmillan Papermac, 1990, pp. 75-77). If this interesting compilation is unavailable, I can supply.

    And by the way, I must mention how much I enjoy your blog, for its interior design, its excursions into linguistics, and other assorted items…

    Yours, GL

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  31. A while ago, I was given a jar of Fortnum and Mason's Burlington Orange Marmalade by our mutual friend EEE who's just returned from London. It put all other commercial marmalades in the shade. And it came in a most alluring oval shaped glass container. A perfectly elegant 'host gift".

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  32. Reggie, you are really quite the chef! Never tried making marmalade myself, but I recently discovered a great orange marmalade made by a gentleman named J. M. Smucker, a new top-of-the-line product from the Smucker family, called Orchard's Finest--Pacific Grove Orange Marmalade Medley. Perhaps not quite as hoity-toity as the marmalade from Keiller & Son, but I'll guarantee it's quite tasty and tangy. Made of a combination of Navel Orange Juice, Blood Orange Juice and Mandarin Orange, and, of course, orange peel, it is by far the best I've ever tasted from off the grocery shelf. You won't find it in every grocery, but it's definitely worth a try if you can find it. Continued good luck with your marmalade endeavors.

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  33. Reggie,

    I so enjoyed your post on marmelade. Carrots make a wonderful marmelade. Although one normally thinks of marmelades as exclusively citruses, the French include other produce in some of theirs. Enjoy! http://18thccuisine.blogspot.com/2005/04/carrot-marmelade.html

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  34. The marmalade from the University Women's Club in London is fantastic.

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  35. Reggie Darling, darling...everyone loves marmalade. A few links for you: George Orwell on cooking and marmalade bit.ly/1ruU2Cb; adventures in blood orange bit.ly/1nxn2LY; and a couple of drink ideas,
    bit.ly/1ivQVZo, bit.ly/1nYvDWB one featuring a gin recommended by the wonderful Meg at Pigtown Design. Our best to Basil!

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  36. Ah, a delicious subject, delightfully presented -- and happily evocative of childhood memories in a Hoosier farm house! But we made do with Concord grapes and Queen Anne cherries, dripping from their bags in the pantry sink. If you can manage a kumquat tree, then do have a go at planting quince! Quince preserves are exquisite with a Stilton or its cousins!

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  37. Oh! Love a good, bitter orange marmalade with with plenty of rind. Blame my late Cornish-American maternal grandmother for that.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von B.

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  38. Quebuena que tiene que estar.Y que bonita presentacion.Me ha encantado visitar tu bloc. Despues de las vacaciones de Semana Santa y la fiesta de Sant Jordi, continuaremos con las limpiezas ecológicas primaverales y esta semana le toca a la cocina espero que os guste y os sea de utilidad y por eso te invito a visitar mi blog. Si te ha gustado espero que si no eres seguidora te hagas ahora.
    Elracodeldetall.blogspot.com

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  39. Dear Reggie,
    My nanny Carmen always made the most delicious orange marmalade with fresh tropical oranges in the Republic of Panama. Thank you for your wonderful post, she just passed, 106 years old, in February and this brought back many wonderful memories. Thank you!
    Best,
    Angela Healy

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  40. I have a hankering for some thick doorstops of toasted bread with your marmalade, and maybe some cream cheese too. Your three little pots of jam will taste all the better for their rarity and hard work.

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  41. Condiments are very much loved in our home, Confiture, Marmalade, Chutney, and of course a jar of Cornichon is always in the pantry. Blood orange marmie on a crispy toast with a shaving of parmesan and or coconut is pure heaven! pve

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  42. knock knock knock... Dear Reggie where are you?

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    Replies
    1. I've been wondering the same thing. I miss your posts, Reggie.

      Hope you're OK.

      Spud.

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  43. I too share concern with my fellow Anonymous cousin regarding your whereabouts... are you and yours well? You are missed!

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  44. A recent purchase of an abandoned farm in Central Virginia made me the recipient of a very old and very large pear tree. I gathered up a ton of fruit and made pear marmalade with lime peel. Mercy God is good. Ann

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  45. Can I come over for some toast? xo, N.G.

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  46. Hope you are not the victim of a terrible tragedy.

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  47. Gail, in northern CaliforniaJune 9, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Yoo-hho! Anyone home?

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  48. Yes, it's worrying. Nearly two months, by my count, since your excellent marmelade exchange was posted. It leaves us to wonder whether something is terribly wrong, or you're taking a long rest.

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  49. Thank you, Dear Readers, for your kind words and solicitous concern. I am well and in fine fettle. I am just rather over extended at the moment with bothersome work engagements and other time consuming commitments that keep me far busier than I wish, and that leave me with little time or energy to spend on the pleasures that I more enjoy. I look forward to resuming posting here in the not-too-distant future. Thank you. Reggie

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    Replies
    1. Well I do hope you find time to observe Flag Day tomorrow. June 14th would be a day to fly the flag of Freedom. Freedom is not Free. A white clapboard house on a farm and Old Glory is quintessentially New England.

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  50. Thank you, Reggie Darling, for the update. I am very relieved to know that all is well with you and yours.

    Best wishes

    Spud.

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  51. I'm so glad to hear that! I, too, have been worried about you and Boy. Thanks for letting us know all is well.

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  52. Elizabeth SpeicherJune 12, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Well, that's a relief to read. I was imagining you in some sort of marmalade induced diabetic coma.

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  53. It's good to hear you are fine - just busy with something other than entertaining your avid readers. Thanks for the update; i was starting to worry about you! *sara*

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  54. Reggie---Glad to see you are alive and well! Will keep checking back for new posts. Happy Summer. N from Va

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  55. Happy July 4th Reggie, from a relatively newly minted American Citizen!
    Hope you and Boy are well!
    xxSP

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  56. I just heard about your accident and am hopeful you are recovering.

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    1. Sconset rotary aug 2014 contact made by suv say it is not so. what has happened ??You are in our thoughts and prayers-- please be well and this two shall pass stay calm and carry on well. carry on in well a way we would be proud to carry on in right?

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  57. You must have finally stopped posting all this pretentious dribble.

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  58. Hi Reggie. Just wondering where you are, and I hope that everything is OK with you and Boy.
    xxSP

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  59. I hope all is well with you, and that you'll be back to posting soon---and I just met you this morning!

    I dropped in from somewhere twixt here and there, and the first marmalade picture had me chirping "Yummy, yummy, yummy!" in my best Lady Constance voice, t's been a joy to read all about the process and result, and all the attendant gifting and receiving and excelsior packaging and Seville oranges, etc. A surfeit of sweet, richly-flavoured, citrusy delight, all in one day's blog.

    And I hope for ever more and more days of such, selfish soul that I am. I see that we have three mutual friends---ASD and the Hattatts, of whom I am inordinately fond, as writers and as friends.

    Hoping that you're in that gorgeous house, arranging lilacs and stirring fragrant kettles,

    rachel

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  60. Oh, no! What kind of accident? I've really missed your blogs and hope you're recovering and that we'll hear from you soon. Take care!

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  61. Perhaps your friend and fellow WASP blogger Lisa can help offer you some words of advice on drinking moderation.

    Crashing your Land Rover while drinking and driving is somewhat common for someone of your lineage, don't you think?

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  62. Please come back Reggie. I have checked your blog almost everyday hoping for a new post. Don't abandon your loyal fans.

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  63. what a horrible comment above. Mymother used to say, if you don't have anything nice to say, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! and yes, she did shout those last words. I just love your writing Reggie and the pleasure you show not only in buying antiques, restoring a building...but in the small things too - making marmalade. Looking forward to the next post.

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  64. Dear Reggie... please do come back to the blog world. I've missed your witty, charming and informative posts. I do hope that all is well with you and dear Boy.

    Bonnie

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  65. Enough already! Time to announce your return! Come hence,now,sir.

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  66. Really missing your lovely blog. Hope alll is well but sure would like to see you pick this up again. Take care...

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  67. Just stopped by to see if you were Ok....Like others here...looking forward to reading your prose once again.

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  68. Hello....
    Did you jet off to parts unknown?
    Did Darlington fall into a sinkhole?
    Did someone forget to sterilize the marmalade jars, prior to canning?
    Is all hope is lost?
    Please advise as I want to know the outcome of the garage project!
    APM


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  69. Dear Reggie Darling,
    I am worried about you. I hope you are just taking a blogging break. It has been 5 long months without a word from you. You are missed.
    Your faithful reader,
    Kathy

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  70. Dear Reggie,

    But for the grace of God, so go I (and many others I am quite sure). I regret that you may be facing some challenges. Grace under fire dear chap. Get back to life as you want it to be.
    Best wishes, Grayson

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