Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Sunday, 17 February 2008
So what had Delia to say about food preparation of today. I had heard her on Radio 4 telling us of her opinion of organic food, there have been lots of recent interviews because of this up-coming television series, and as always I mostly agree with her views. But it is nostalgia that makes me want this book, as we are making our way to our meeting place, the Railway Children in the CD player and the continual plip-plip of a nintendo game coming from the back seat I am remembering Delia on the telly.... The Complete Cookery Course. The books of the series came in three volumes, which I later gave to my elder daughter-in-law, even though they were very precious. The combined volume of the three which came out later does not evoke the same memories.
Delia is a couple of years older than me, and I can remember so vividly watching those programmes, my sons still children, living in very rural Devon, nothing but trees and fields around us, as the house we lived in at the time was at the other end of the farm where the dairy herd was milked twice daily, and where most of the work went on. I was an accomplished cook myself, being lucky that my then husband was happy to eat just about anything in spite of having been brought up on very traditional farm-house food. I kept poultry for the table, at that early stage the laying hens were still the preserve of my husband's mother, but there was never a shortage of basic ingredients, milk of course, and from that clotted cream, and when we had too much of that I turned it into butter. I loved my life, even though it ended in divorce some years later, and Delia is part of those early memories.
Sunday, 3 February 2008
Take 1.5kg of Seville oranges and two lemons, place whole in a pressure cooker without a trivet, add .85 litre of water, bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Leave to reduce pressure at room temperature.
When cool enough to handle cut each of the fruit in half, I use the lemon peel in my marmalade, and scrape out the insides into a coarse sieve, over a large bowl. Tip all the liquid from the pressure cooker into a preserving pan, adding a further .85 litres water and 3kg sugar to it. You can put this on a low heat to start to dissove the sugar while you shred the peel as finely as you can, it will be very soft, and sieve all the flesh, pressing down well on the pips and debris to get out as much pectin as possible.
I used to use the coarse plate on a mouli-legume for this job, but as that has seen better days now I used a nylon seive, it works but is much harder work. I have been trying to get a new mouli for ages, but can only find a small one! Because I wasn't convinced that I had got as much extract as usual I put the contents of the sieve in a little water, brought it to the boil for about five minutes and put it back through the sieve. Make sure that the sugar is dissolving while all this is going on, you don't want the liquid in the preserving pan to come to the boil yet, give it a stir now and then.