Marmalade

We had a bit of a lie-in this morning and, after breakfast and walking Daisy, we went to the house.  We were checking on the watering system, and struggling again with the hoses. Jamie set the timer for longer, as we wanted to be sure that the flowerbeds were covered effectively.  It seems quite efficient but it is still too early to judge whether or not it works well enough. Certainly the orange tree will need a lot more than the drip system can offer.  I planted a few lavenders around the edge of the main bed and cleared some of the sprawling honeysuckle that is just a mess of  dead branches and new growth, but no flowers.

Lunch at Serenella’s of pan-fried chicken breasts with stracchino cream cheese and rucola for me, and chicken casserole with peppers for Jamie.  A delicious fruit salad for dessert and coffee. 

Serenella had told me her son had some seville oranges and, as they had enjoyed the marmalade I had made, wondered what the recipe was.  I offered to make it for her as trying to explain the boiling, putting pips in a mesh to extract pectin etc. etc. was too much to translate.  So she provided the fruit, the sugar, the jars and off I went to make the marmalade.  We had one orange still on our new tree and I added that to the five from Serenella.  From that kilo of oranges we got 6 jars of marmalade to share and a bottle of home-made Vin Santo for ‘my trouble’.

In the afternoon I drove down to the carpenter’s workshop to make sure we were clear about doors, windows, door fittings, colour of the paintwork and the wooden doors.  This is a large part of the final expensive element to the restoration.  Things need to be written down and if necessary drawn out, so that there is no misunderstanding and everyone is clear on the decisions.  That much we have learnt through our experience here. The doors, windows, shutters and all the frames will make a huge difference.  Also, here in Italy each floor must have a small cupboard where all the heating and water supply can be independently switched off at stop cocks.  Not very attractive but these need doors too although we are debating whether to make them subtle wooden ones or in-your-face rusty iron ones to add a bit of character.

Wandered down to Saltapicchio wine bar this evening to wish Gigi a happy birthday.  Luckily we arrived early and got to enjoy some delicious fresh oysters from Brittany and join Gigi in a glass of bubbly too. And Gigi got a jar of marmalade.

Tonight we ate in, yes, I know it is hard to believe, but I bought some fresh porcini mushrooms so made a sauce for some egg tagliatelle with them.

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