Well, we’re back home from this year’s World Marmalade Awards at Dalemain in Penrith. If you didn’t go, that’s a shame – perhaps you should start making plans for next year now. If you did go I hope we had a chat as I was busily demonstrating my whole fruit method of making marmalade. I talked to hundreds of people and was quite hoarse by the end of the show – at least Trev had a peaceful drive home!
I also took part in the Q&A session on both days with the fabulous Dan Lepard – supreme bread maker, Jane Maggs Gold award winner several times over, Pam ‘The Jam’ Corbin and Jonathan Miller from Fortnum & Masons. Everyone else on the panel is involved in the judging of the event and I always end up feeling inadequate because of their very scientific approach.
My offering is much more on a practical level based on my experience, and a voice for the novice, the amateur, those with little preserving confidence and the person who approaches me with ‘I know this is a silly question . . . ‘ No question is silly, if you need to ask it, and I never tire of answering them if I can. I love people to learn, to understand, and to feel empowered enough to have a go.
Preserving isn’t, literally, an exclusive past-time open to only a few – everyone could – and should – experience the joy of preserving something they have grown or foraged, whether that foraging takes place in the urban setting of a market or supermarket. The ingredients are inexpensive, the equipment is minimal and the methods are simple. So my mission is to get everyone having a go – what’s the worst that can happen? Oh – and since you ask and I wouldn’t have mentioned it – I won Bronze for my Savoury Lime & Ginger Marmalade with Cracked Black Pepper. Next year I hope it is you.