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Winter Walks

January 14, 2016

I had an urge to get some fresh air and exercise mid-week so a circuitous walk via the city centre to Reg the Veg in Clifton for some Seville oranges was a great incentive…


I love winter and I particularly love bare trees knowing that whilst dormant there’s a steady build up of resources that will ensure a burst into leaf in spring. The grounds of bombed-out Temple Church in the heart of the city of Bristol is a quiet contemplative spot for busy office workers and provides a stunning contrast to the huge office blocks surrounding it. The rich colours of fallen leaves and the bare outline of these huge trees, highlighted by winter sun and blue skies, more than make up for this leafless season. And in the heart of Georgian Clifton village how lovely to have left the flaky paint on this old door…


Back home and the marmalade making flooded the house with the scent of oranges and produced these pots of glowing fruit…



Boil 2 k of whole fruit in 2 L of water for 1 1/2 hours,. When cool cut in half and scoop out the pith and pips to add back to the cooking liquid which then gets boiled again for 5 minutes to release the pectin from the pips. Slice the orange peel and place in a preserving pan. Add 4 k of warmed granulated sugar plus the strained liquid and stir till the sugar has completely dissolved. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes and test for setting.

I was in despair about finding anything to cut for the house and then found this pretty collection of arums, hellebores, vincas and Euphorbia robbiae…


16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2016 1:20 pm

    The sun is shining here too today.. even a sprinkling of white on the ground! Despite the cold it makes such a welcome change to see some blue sky. Definitely an incentive for a walk. Reg the Veg.. love it!

  2. January 14, 2016 3:10 pm

    I’ve just been making blackberry jelly with, if I’m truthful last year’s – no I mean 2014’s fruit! Today has been cold and grey here and looks like snow. I also have some Seville oranges in the freezer that I’m planning to make into marmalade tomorrow; cold winter days are much better for being in the warm kitchen than mid-summer when most of the fruit needs to be dealt with.

    • January 14, 2016 3:54 pm

      I like the idea of keeping summer fruit in the freezer and waiting till winter to do something with it. And I love blackberry jelly so much nicer than jam.

  3. January 14, 2016 6:58 pm

    We have some very mature beech trees here which are at their best at this time of year with beautiful silver grey bark. As you say sometimes the best time to appreciate the form and scale of trees is when they are bare.

    • January 15, 2016 10:04 am

      Trees seem to display their age and magnitude more when bare. I had a friend who photographed a huge beech tree (visible from the bedroom window) every friday at 8am for a year just to appreciate the change over the seasons.

  4. January 14, 2016 11:15 pm

    I remember those wonderful smells that filled our home when my mother canned and made preserves

  5. January 15, 2016 8:50 am

    Its so nice to see some sunshine for a change, great to get out there and make the most of it. Bet your house smelt lovely when you were making the marmalade.

  6. January 15, 2016 5:00 pm

    Your marmalade looks a lovely colour. I don’t make it very often, but I am inspired to go out looking for bitter oranges now. The latest Waitrose magazine had a recipe for mojito marmalade that a friend said was lovely.

    • January 16, 2016 11:43 am

      I’ve just looked on-line at the mojito marmalade and like the ingredients very much. I’ve starred it in bookmarks for another season probably next year now. These glowing pots are so tempting to dip into even when it’s not time for breakfast.

  7. January 18, 2016 1:43 pm

    lucy moore
    love the photo of the allee of trees and their shadows; can’t quite place it though!

    • January 18, 2016 1:44 pm

      It’s a strange and unexpected derelict church and these are the grounds. It’s between Bristol Bridge and Temple Meads station and was new to me until we went to a great art event in the autumn. Google Sanctum to see more and at the time it was teeming with people so I promised myself a re-visit to capture the beauty of the avenue of trees.

  8. January 19, 2016 5:33 pm

    I’m just about to make marmalade, so thanks for the recipe. Love the photo of the trees., and the little jug of flowers and leaves from your garden. It’s nice to see what’s growing in other people’s gardens.

  9. January 19, 2016 5:58 pm

    Hi Karen This recipe always works for me and I particularly like that you cook the fruit first. It makes shredding the oranges very easy.

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