Making your own sunshine


We’re considering installing a pond. Well not really, but if we ever wanted one, here is a no obligation, free of charge mock-up provided by the sky. Every time huge buckets of rain fall we thank our builder for his up-selling which was something like “you’re going to need a drain at the back of the house or it will flood”. We have had, and are still having rain and lots of it. The grey skies and lack of sunshine is becoming just a little tedious. According to the Portuguese meteorological website we’ve had about two hundred and fifty million, billion times the average rain fall in January. My Portuguese numbers aren’t so good so it might not have been quite as much as that.


On a dark and rainy day (which one!) I remembered our little orange tree and my promise to myself to make marmalade. The oranges we have are bitter but with enough sweetness to eat. A bit like a cross between a sweet orange and a grapefruit. As “true” English marmalade is made from the bitter (but high pectin) Seville orange, our bitter/sweet variety might make a lovely marmalade. Boiling and inhaling all that stored sunshine is bound to lift our spirits! We’ll make our own sunshine damn it. Marmalade made in the home of marmalada with local oranges rather than Spanish seems a nice little twist to this tale of preserved fruit. For those who didn’t know, Portuguese marmalada (or quince paste) came well before marmalade. Portuguese marmalada has been known in the UK since mediaeval times but Seville orange marmalade is a later development, now with its own tradition. Like many things in the western world though, the Greeks did it first! Is that just because universities love ancient Greece and that’s as far as we look? I bet the Chinese were making some kind of marmalade paper or a marmalade powered rocket while we were still grunting and pointing at toast wondering what would taste nice on it.

Sunshine in a bowl! A warming lunch of Moroccan lentil soup with chunks of bread. A great way to get your internal wood-burner fired up again.


6 responses »

  1. Hello Sarah and David, We have met you some years ago at Praia de St Andree, and as every year we are going next week to Spain and Portugal and if its convenient we can try to visite you, it will be a short visite because we know how it is rebuilding a house.
    All the best, Anna and Ferry

  2. I had to have toast & marmalade after seeing your pictures.
    we are desperately waiting for rain ,perhaps you could have swimming pool instead of pond ?

  3. You live in a place where people buy total strangers a train ticket and your mechanic rings his Professor son to translate and make sure you and he have a good understanding of the work to be done. So it rains a lot? Small price to pay. And anyway it’s still nice and cosy inside! Happy days!

  4. That looks like a nice even mix of fruit in the jars, you be getting Lady Mary worried. Have you been able try local honey in you jams, I can recommend it, mind you have have to suffer shop bought fruit.

    Shame about the rain but if it is anything like last summer, you will be wondering where all the water went.

  5. Hello Sarah and David,
    This is Anna and Ferry, we think it is a good decision to take this doggie, he or she is lovely and we wish you many years of happiness with it.
    Your garden looks very different since we visited you in march and I love your orange tree, here we can’t grow oranges it’s to cold, at the moment it is about 21 degrees and not normal for this time of the year, to low.
    We wish you a nice summer and hope to see you here or there.

    Kisses Anna and Ferry

We love to hear from people, so please feel free to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s