Sunday, 23 January 2011

Z gets set

I made marmalade this afternoon.  Other bloggers have been saying that for a couple of weeks ago, but Tim only had Seville oranges in for the first time yesterday.  I know I'll be busy next week, so I thought I'd get a batch in at once.  I used the method I tried for the first time last year, which means cooking the oranges whole - it's Lindsay Bareham's recipe from The Times last year (well, I think so) but I've made a couple of changes, just because I don't think she always explained it in full, so if anyone would like it, let me know.  A couple of people have excellent recipes using a pressure cooker (I can do a link to one of them), and the traditional method I used to use is also very reliable - but takes longer and is more work.

I've been thinking about anniversaries again, but this isn't one of them, deliberately.  I only mark good anniversaries, and my stepfather and father both died in the second half of January - not on the same day but not many days, although a good many years, apart.  24 for my stepfather, 41 for my father.  I feel the loss of both of them.  Whether you believe in an afterlife, in whatever form, or not, there is surely some sort of after-life in being remembered and missed by people who knew you.

Next week, I'll mostly be at school.  It's a governors' link week, which means that the governors linked to a department go in to lessons, meet the head of faculty, talk to pupils, that sort of thing.  The music teacher has been ill with flu, and I will not bother her with visits - I'll send her an email shortly, suggesting we leave it a couple of weeks until she's back into her stride - but I'm also Special Needs governor, so I'm going into a Lexia class, an Asdan class and an Outdoor Education class.  Then I've got a morning being educated by the Local Authority on the pros and cons of being an Academy, a committee meeting, a meeting with the Head, another committee meeting and a lunch with governors and heads of faculty.  So that'll be how I spend my week.  Housework has to be done on Monday morning, when all the business emails come in (so, lucky the Sage has learned how to reply to them) and then there will be no time, not if I want to visit friends in hospital too.  This is otherwise known as not having a job.  Oh, and a friend is holding a Bodyshop party on Friday night, so Dilly and I are going to that.

I've just realised that I've mentioned everything I might have blogged about next week.  Bugger.  What shall I talk about, then?  Or maybe I should take a week off.

I don't think it's likely.  It's bad enough not having anything on the radio just after 7 o'clock to get used to.  I don't want to listen to The Archers, I genuinely don't care and actively want not to get involved again, but I'm always cooking at 7 o'clock - well, normally - and now I do it in silence.  I always listened to Front Row until dinner was cooked, and now I don't listen to that too.  So it's quiet around here nowadays.

12 comments:

DUTA said...

You seem to be quite a busy person: making marmelade, housework, remembring the departed dear ones, going to school classes/committee meetings, etc..

Any activity you perform is good both to the body and soul.
Have a terrific week!

Vagabonde said...

I have made fig jams for years as we have a fig tree in the front yard. I also purchased several bags of cranberries and froze them to make jam when we come back from our trip, but I’d like to make orange marmalade. I have a small Italian pressure cooker but would not know what to do. If you have a recipe for the marmalade I’d appreciate it, although I am going on a trip soon and will make it after that. Thanks for coming to my blog. I always though health care in England was great. One year I was in London for the Christmas holidays and was hurt by an expresso machine – the lever popped in my eye. The doctor at the hospital left the New Year Party he was attending to come and put stitches above my eye – you can’t even tell anymore. No cost to me.

Z said...

It's an unusually busy week, Duta! Thank you.

Vagabonde, I was given a big box of overripe figs at the end of the summer and made a lot of ice-cream, which was gorgeous. Can you get sour Seville oranges? The recipe for pressure cooker marmalade is here -
http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/bubba’s-quick-seville-orange-marmalade-recipe-using-a-pressure-cooker-7166#comments
I'm glad you were treated well by the NHS - we have a pride in looking after visitors in trouble, even if they aren't 'officially' covered. Although, with your dual citizenship, you would be entitled in any case.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks for coming by...! It is always nice to meet new Bloggers, and especially considering we both know two other bloggers, as well...
I saw where you said you made Fig Ice Cream...I Bet that was FABULOUS! I like Figs, a lot! Dates, too...But I don't know how to make anything like that...!

Roses said...

Busy, busy lady.

Enjoy your week my darling. I look forward to how it all turned out.

Dave said...

Pretend the clocks have changed, and cook dinner at 6 instead. Then you can listen to news and current affairs, as I do.

Sir Bruin said...

A Bodyshop party, huh? Can you see if they have one like mine, but in a smaller size?

Z said...

I've seen your comments so often, Naomi!

The fig ice cream was really easy, you puréed them and cooked them with sugar then added orange juice, ground cardamon, and cream. Can't remember other ingredients, but that's basically it.

The head of department wants me to do detailed lesson evaluations. Eek. Took me over an hour last night.

I stop listening to The Archers because of the miserable story line and Dave suggests I listen to the news to cheer myself up. And eats so early that I'll be snacking before bedtime. No, love.

I'll keep an eager eye open, Sir B, and let Small Bear know if I'm successful.

luckyzmom said...

I'm going to the marmalade link. Will probably need a orange substitute though.

Z said...

I think someone in the comments on that post used other fruit, lime or grapefruit.. The essence of marmalade is the balance of sweetness with sharpness, I think, but I'm sure you could reduce the sugar somewhat, to the proportions of jam or jelly, if you used sweet oranges. I'd still add the lemons though.

heybartender said...

Finally catching up, so my comments are a bit late - sorry. Would love your marmalade recipe, if it's no trouble. Also, I recommend podcasts for listening while you cook. They're free and you can find one on just about any subject you can dream up. I've recently re-visited Philosophy Bites, which I can recommend if the subject interests you.
Also, there's always the healing power of rock 'n roll.

Z said...

My phone is so near full (largely music) that I tend not to think of adding podcasts. Good idea, though. I'm listening to Little Richard just now, retroly enough.

I'll do the marmalade recipe as a separate post.