It is marmalade season once again, so I have been shopping, and bought about 6lbs of Seville oranges with a view to making an initial batch or two of marmalade.
It's a couple of years since I have made any - two years ago I was preparing to move house, and had people viewing the house a lot (and I decided that it wasn't really practical to also move loads of jars of marmalade).
Last year I didn't organise myself to do the thing properly and ended up making a small batch using a tin of pre-prepared orange pulp and peel (which, it has to be admitted, works pretty well, but isn't quite the same, and doesn't, at least if you are me, give quite the same sense of achievement!
So this year I am back to doing it the old-fashioned way.
The problem with the old-fashioned way, of course, is that it does take a long time. Particularly the part where you have to chop orange peel into tiny pieces. (I'm limited, in the size of the batch I can make, by the size of my largest pan, so I'm only using 2lbs of oranges at a time. However, juicing and chopping 9 oranges (and one lemon) takes time!
However, once that's done, you get to spend the next two hours with the lovely scent of simmering oranges pervading the house!
Then comes the exciting bit of adding lots of sugar, and finding out whether you have misjudged the size of your pan and the extent to which boiling sugar expands...
And a little after that you get to put the marmalade into jars and to admire that beautiful orange-gold colour.