Pamela loved to forage in hedgerows and to make use of seasonal ‘free’ produce. And, if there’s a glut, you preserve. That could mean jams, marmalades, chutneys, pickles and liqueurs (also the famous exploding elderflower cordial). Here, in Australia, it’s spring and there’s plenty of citrus about. In Scotland, I suspect there are late summer fruits and maybe brambles and sloes, ready for the picking in the hedgerows.
I’ve been on an amateur adventure into the land of marmalades, pickles and liqueurs lately – channeling Mum, as I can’t bear to see lawn-fuls of fruit going to waste. Although I don’t have ample citrus trees, many of my friends do and I have always liked the idea of homemade goodies to give away at Christmas or to donate to a charity fundraising stall. So…
On discovering a quick marmalade recipe in Pamela’s recipe book, I put a call out for fruit and I searched for jars to prepare. I came across two Kilner jars of fruit in the back of a cupboard. Mum had preserved cumquats in gin and plums in brandy about 16 years ago, when we lived in Greenwich, Sydney – and these were the very same jars with the same said fruit! Although the majority of the liquid had long been consumed, some gin still remained – and wow, it’s good stuff!
Perfect neat or mixed as a cocktail with a squeeze of lime and a slice or two of fresh cumquat. Cheers to Mum & Dad.