Friday, 11 January 2013

Making marmalade

The Seville orange season is upon us which means its time to make the very popular and tasty homemade marmalade to serve with our scrummy breakfasts.  The recipe is simple, the hardest part is actually cutting up the orange peel which is quite labour intensive but the resulting taste is well worth it.  This time, instead of just making plain orange marmalade I am also going to make a batch of ginger and whiskey marmalade, will let you know how I get on.

Recipe for Seville Orange Marmalade or Three Fruit Maramalade makes about 12 x 450 g
jars This traditional marmalade can only be made in season- usually
January to early February.

Wash and cut in half :
1.4 kg (3lb) Seville oranges (or 1 grapefruit and 3 large oranges)
2 large lemons
Cover a plate or small bowl with a piece of muslin. Squeeze out the juice
then strain the pips and any membrane or pulp you can remove from the skin
in your muslin. Tie up the pips and pulp and put in your pot.
Using a sharp knife slice the peel thinly and add to the fruit juices
3.4 litres (6 pints) water
Bring to the boil then simmer gently for about two hours. The peel should
be soft enough to disintegrate if you rub it between your fingers and the
liquid reduced by about half.
Remove the muslin bag and put it to one side to cool. When it is cool
enough to handle, squeeze the bag well to extract as much of the gluey
pectin as possible. Stir it into the orange liquid along with
2.7 kg (6 lb) sugar
Bring up to heat slowly, stirring occasionally until the sugar has
completely dissolved.
Put a small saucer into the freezer.
Then turn the heat up to the highest setting and boil rapidly for about 15
Check for a set: drop a small amount on a frozen saucer. After 1 minute,
push it with your fingertip. If a skin forms and crinkles when you push
it, it is set. If it is not set, boil for another 5 minutes and check
(add 5tbsp whiskey per 1.5kg fruit at this point
Leave to stand for half an hour then pot in sterilised jars and cover in the usual way.
Leave a comment for any questions or just to let me know how you got on making the marmalade.

Friday, 4 January 2013

News Update for 2013

Happy New Year to all our guests past and hopefully future!

2012 seems to have flown by, cant quite believe we are now in 2013, where has the time gone?  We've enjoyed the Queen's Jubilee with celebrations here in Torquay, and of course the Olympics with all the success that this has bought to our small country in the way of tourism, prestige and rejuvenation.

On a smaller scale we are always looking at ways to improve our accommodation, service and overall experience here at the Buckingham Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Whilst we are closed at the moment, this doesnt mean we are resting on our laurels.  Scaffolding has gone up at the rear of the property with new rendering completed, double glazing going in next week.  This means our family room, superior room and kingsize double will now be snug and warm in the winter helping the environment and of course our fuel bills!

Added to that we are decorating/carpeting our twin room which makes up part of our suite, a family favourite during the summer months.  Mum and dad enjoy a superkingsize bed with small kitchen area whilst kiddies are comfortable next door with their own tv and bathroom.  Own access to the suite ensures total privacy.  Decorating has become necessary due to a leak in our roof, total inconvenience but nothing compare to a lot of our population experiencing severe flooding.

The suite has proved so popular that we have created another one - our Junior Suite.  Again this is a suite of two rooms, one with double bed and ensuite shower with a single room next door with shower and bath.  The rooms are accessible via a separate door from the corridor, again creating total privacy for a family of 3.

Theres a lot to look forward to this year in Torquay, something I will personally be going to is the Hairy Bikers event who are appearing at the Princess Theatre in March, a 10 minute walk from our guest house.  Then of course Easter will be appearing earlier this year, the Beer Festival at Occombe Farm, Powerboat racing, Agatha Christie Festival, the Red Arrows display and of course the Regatta in the beautiful town of Dartmouth.  There's no shortage of things to do in Torquay if you are considering a holiday or short break here, Paignton Zoo is a must along with Kents Cavern, Babbacombe Model Village, Living Coasts and Bygones.

We look forward to hopefully seeing some of you again this year and of course will enjoy meeting our new guests as well.