Home-grown honey and home-made marmalade

It is a good week to be a toast eater in this house. We have a slightly wild mandarin tree here that threw out more fruit than we could handle this winter, so I’ve been making marmalade. When life gives you mandarins, etc. This is the second batch that I’ve made (the first had Cointreau in it — very fancy) and I feel like I’m becoming pretty pro at it now. Especially since I have worked out a nifty little hack to get around the most tedious part of marmalade making: shredding the peel. Our mandarins have a very soft, thin peel, which becomes even softer after cooking, and I discovered that it shreds up quite nicely when given a whiz in my Tupperware Turbo Chef. (Oh wow, could I sound any more Soccer Mom?) Of course it’s not as neat and even as hand-cut peel, but it’s a good shortcut in what is otherwise a very slow-food process.

This is the marmalade recipe that I’ve been using, and it’s a winner.

Anyway, no sooner had I proudly screwed the lids on Marmalade Mark II than I received a kilo of some of the nicest honey I’ve ever tasted. And guess where it came from? Our own block of land. A friend of ours had been trialling a couple of hives of bees on part of our block a few months ago and this was our sweet, sticky kickback. Honey generally tastes pretty great no matter where it comes from, but this has a creamy, mellow flavour that is truly delicious. Who’da thunk a bees with a diet of basically nothing but lantana could produce something so yummy?

So it’s been tea and toast more or less round the clock here these past couple of days. You don’t eat much more local than this!