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REAL FOOD

January is marmalade month. And now that we are all growing our own food and knitting jumpers, why not do as our mothers used to do and make your own marmalade?

My mum is now in her mid-80s, so I have taken on the role of marmalade provider to the family (but, of course, under her careful supervision!). Thankfully, one batch does us for a year, compared with the three batches we went through in the 70s.

Making marmalade is easy, but follow the instructions carefully: any deviation and the marmalade will not set and you will end up with brown and runny (but still tasty) marmalade.

Seville oranges need to be purchased before the end of January from a good fruit and veg shop.

And for a treat, freeze the leftover peels and juice for use with duck during the year, or for adding to cocktails.

MELLA'S MARMALADE

Scrub 10-12 Seville oranges, two large sweet oranges and two lemons. Squeeze the juice and pulp. Remove all pips to a cup. Blend the skins in a processor: how coarse is up to you. Put the peels in a large pan and add nine pints of water. Soak for at least eight hours.

Bring the peels to a boil then simmer for 2-3 hours 'til soft. Add 12lb sugar and stir 'til it dissolves. Now add the juice and pulp. Next, place the pips in muslin and tie so none escape, then add to pan.

Boil for approximately two hours.

To test if the marmalade has set, place a spoonful on a saucer and leave to cool. If the jam wrinkles as it cools, then the marmalade is finished.

Leslie is on Twitter; lesliesrealfood