January may be the height of the marmalade-making
season, but this marmalade – and this post – are all about last May.
It’s like she’s giving them new life.
It’s the beginning of May and my mother has resurrected a clutch of Seville oranges from her freezer. Bitter and icy now, they will soon, with her help, and like many’s the orange before them, morph into a generosity of sweet, warm marmalade. Though I’ve seen Mum do this a thousand times, I am, for the first time ever, taking notes.
They were worth the tummy ache.
At least, they must have been, because we could never resist picking and eating the apples from our tree long before they were ready (and, in truth, they never got that sweet anyway). We would use them to play bob the apple at Hallowe’en and, later, they would be arrayed on makeshift tables in the shed and would keep us in stewed apple, apple tarts and glorious baked apples for the winter.
Neither, I might add, could we resist climbing our apple tree and, on occasion, swinging from its branches.
My brother demonstrating the fine art of swinging from an apple tree