|This was Saturday's beautiful sunset which turned the snow pink and made everything glow.|
Although we haven't had any more snow, it is extremely cold and when I set off with the dogs just before three this afternoon it was -11C and this freezing fog was descending on the fields.
..............and this is the last that I saw of the sun!
We had a lovely walk and the dogs raced around like mad things, barking and kicking up the powdery snow, then it was home for tea, fruit cake and a cosy half hour in front of the stove reading the papers.
The "to do" list is beginning to lengthen, mainly with Christmas related tasks! Home made gifts are planned for various friends and I've begun by making several jars of vanilla sugar and I plan to make apple chutney, apple jelly and marmalade.
We ran out of home made marmalade and after buying various jars to keep us going, I decided to try some Mamade. I used it years ago but couldn't remember how it turned out. It's basically prepared Seville oranges with pectin and citric acid to which you add water and sugar. The instructions are very clear, however, I would advise anyone making it to test for setting long before the stated fifteen minutes as mine reached setting point after about eight minutes! I made a batch of orange marmalade and was so pleased with it I decided to try a variation. This time I used a mixture of granulated and dark muscovado sugars and added cardamom seeds which I'd ground down to release the flavour. The result was a lovely, dark, aromatic marmalade which we enjoyed this morning on toasted soda bread. Lemon Mamade is also available, so I think I'll continue my experiments with that, perhaps adding ginger for a start. That should keep us stocked up until the Seville oranges become available in January when I usually buy a box of them and for a few days the delicious aroma of boiling marmalade permeates the whole house!