TRANSFORMATIONS.....IN THE KITCHEN AND IN THE GARDEN

For me, gathering, preparing and cooking food, is all about refining..reworking and converting fresh produce into something to share and enjoy with family and friends. Lots of love and thought goes into the process. Sometimes it can go from a thing of beauty to something quite average and then back to a totally different kind of beauty.

As I mentioned the other week, Quinces are now in season, and look how gorgeous they look....  I just wanted to show you the next stage, prior to the cooking process.

You would have to say that they look pretty ordinary.... 

The metamorphosis of a Quince.... 

I don't know about you but this just makes me smile.... made another batch last night...can't get enough of them. Lots of vitamin C too!

Limes didn't escape either..... all I did was slice and add lots of sugar... some water and then Lime Marmalade is magically made.

Open that jar and enjoy the waft of the tangy limes all over again, as you spread it on your toast....

After all the years of making jams, relishes etc, I finally discovered there is a thingy, called a jam funnel, where it sits nicely over the mouth of the jar and you can ladle the marmalade in with ease and not have it dripping down the sides of the jar. Which, if you ever ladled hot marmalade trying to scrub it off the jar after it's cooled, is a pain.

I must me a slow learner..... I am sure many of you probably have one of these.

But for those that don't...GET ONE!

 In the garden there are small stirrings of change happening too...

Tucked under all the brown crusty leaves, green bulb shoots are appearing everywhere.

I must say this every year... I can't believe I have already started picking Jonquils!

From the depths of the freezing cold soil.....now transforming the guest room with their sweet scent and cheerful yellow faces.

It's a freezing winters day, and as I look out on to the garden....my hands are warmed by my cup of tea ...what could be nicer than to spread some of that marmalade on hot buttered toast or maybe the poached Quince on creamy porridge.