vanilla rose

The first marmalade I ever made was Desert Candy’s Pink Grapefruit Marmalade. Not only is it divine, truly worth a moment of reverent silence on first tasting, it’s easy and quick and a treat for the eyes, all speckled with vanilla seeds. It’s also become my template. Not sure what to do with this bowl of fruit-becoming jam? Add vanilla bean and rosewater. It works for raspberry jam, cumquat marmalade, pear jam… strawberry and rhubarb… there’s always some new combination to experiment with.

But I keep coming back to this gorgeous creation.

Then I go talk to my pink grapefruit tree: grow please, have some seaweed and compost, let me drape this mesh tent over you to protect you from the possums and how about I polish your leaves, there’s that’s better…

Maybe one day I’ll be able to pick grapefruit to make this marmalade. Until that happy day I’ll continue trading flowers for grapefruits at the Greengrocer and make myself a batch.

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plant and just add water

I didn’t expect jam-making would become this big consuming thing complete with a webpage, an email address, an order placed for jars, and the perfectly justifiable expansion of my wardrobe to include Hell Bunny dresses as sales uniforms. I can’t even remember what my first jam was! But I do recognise, and admit, jamming has become an obsession. One symptom is purchashing plants to secure a supply of Meyer lemons, for instance, or rhubarb, or gooseberries. Well, I bought lavender yesterday solely for future Apricot & Lavender jams. I’ve also tipped all the apricot pits down the bank where I found some miraculous cherries seedlings sprouting. Who knows? Maybe there’ll be miraculous apricots in a year or two if the rain gods, possums, and wallabies are kind.

Speaking of rain gods… the clouds curdling the sky look hopeful. Better get that lavender in the ground.