It felt like Christmas in April as I opened Reggie's beautifully wrapped kumquat marmie as part of The Great Marmalade Exchange of 2014
Photo: Chronica Domus
Back in February I posted a piece, that can be read here, on how we, or more specifically my husband, came to make marmalade at home, something that has now evolved into an annual rite of winter. The first comment I received on the story was from Reggie Darling, the author of the wildly popular Reggie Darling, The View From Darlington House (I'm sure there aren't too many readers left in this corner of the blogosphere who've yet to discover this elegantly stylish, informative, and witty blog). After a few emails transpired between us, the idea of The Great Marmalade Exchange was hatched. You can read all about it at Reggie's blog here.
Reggie's preferred way of eating marmie, straight off the spoon!
Photo: Chronica Domus
Who knew that when we began our Annual Marmalade Making Adventure and I wrote about it, it would add impetus to the marmalade making aspirations of one of my favorite bloggers. This week, I happily received a jar of Reggie's kumquat marmie, beautifully wrapped in blousy tissue paper and ribbon, and nesting in a bed of excelsior. I can report firsthand that his inaugural effort into marmalade pursuits has resulted in the perfect storm in a jar; a confluence of juice, rind, and sugar making for a puckery spread which is absolutely delish! Bravo Reggie! My family and I enjoyed the marmie this morning at breakfast on our buttered toast with cups of tea. We got through nearly half the jar before my insistence that it be put away so we could all enjoy it again on another morning. It was that good!
I am aware that marmalade is not as popular as other preserves at breakfast time in this country, but could that have come about as a result of having tasted only commercially available cloying concoctions? Traditionally, homemade marmalade is an entirely different animal; less sweet, more bitter and therefore much more likely to make an impression upon the palate. Some will never come to love marmalade, but an informed opinion is simply not possible without first having tried a properly bitter batch made fresh at home. Into which camp do you fall - love it, or loathe it?