The lengths one goes to to avoid doing the tax, but the organic marmalade oranges and lemons have been sitting in the kitchen since Riverford delivered them on Friday, and we have at least six batches to tackle, so needs must. Perhaps I don’t need to write a blog post as well, but any marmalade maker will recognise that sense of excitement and achievement and the need to share it… The achievement actually extends to having caught the Seville oranges in time, before they disappear for another year; the season is so short, one flash and it’s gone and one could easily have missed it altogether.
And now that we leave a little jar of homemade marmalade alongside the bread, milk, butter and eggs for every couple when they arrive we find we are getting through a LOT! We started off just trying it out on our guests after we had made some last year, thinking we would stop again quite soon after a temporary flurry of marmalade sharing, but such was the reaction, with public comments in the visitors’ books and on the blog that we felt almost compelled to carry on. And we are glad to do so, because anything we can do to make our guests’ holiday here enjoyable and a little bit special for them is a pleasure for us too.
The marmalade production process is very much a joint affair as you can see by this fairly rare photo of John. It is not often he is in a photo as he is usually the one behind the lens We are now using a relatively new recipe I got off the internet recently when I was making between season grapefruit and lime marmalade, which we are rather pleased with. It involves boiling the quartered fruit first and using slightly less sugar than the conventional idea which means you can eat more.
Let us know what you think, if you still have a holiday here ahead of you before the current batches run out!
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.