Marmalade: Is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. Delicious on toast, adds a zing to cakes and makes a great sauce with chicken.
Every year I make approximately 500 x 1/2 kg jars. After making 250 jars I am sick of it, my arms ache from squeezing the pip bag and cleaning up the drips from the stove. I continue because the oranges have already been picked and I know the result is good.
Every year I say next year I am making less but I do not.
I first started making marmalade in Jaffa where I worked as a cook, there was an orange tree in the garden and one thing lead to another, this marmalade was made for the Hostel guests.
I upped my production quantity to 500 jars twelve years ago and donated any money generated from selling it to humanitarian aid in Bethlehem.
Until this year it has been a family project, my (then) young boys climbed the trees and shook the oranges down. At home it was 'fend for yourselves' on the food front as I had an obsessive month making the marmalade before the oranges went mouldy.
This year it was just my husband and I. We safely and sensibly used a ladder to get to high oranges. As I write this I am half way through with 250 jars done and I am bored.
Empty jars are collected from generous donors all year round, they are prepared for use, sterilised and stored. A real recycling project.
I like to think of my marmalade as a project that includes everybody.
The oranges are collected from 3 places representing 3 people groups. In the pan it is impossible to tell which oranges are from which area, they all look the same and after the blender that's it!
- Bethlehem, there is a tree by the front entrance of the Bible College. I did not use the oranges from it last year due to the excessive tear gas that fell in front of the college, I was worried the oranges might be contaminated.
- East Jerusalem Baptist Church, two big trees.
- YWCA West, two huge trees either side of the front steps. These oranges are big and juicy.
There are enough oranges to make 5,000 jars from all these trees. I take some from each and mix them together to make something tasty and good.
Wish: One day the peoples from these regions will be able to mix as freely as my oranges, meanwhile I will keep picking, squeezing and boiling.
Tags # oranges # marmalade# mixing people together #