Sunday, July 12, 2009


We do not import fruit or vegetables into Norfolk Island.

We grow what we eat.

We may have to "go without" at times, but what we have is always fresh and seasonal'

Many of us have fruit trees, and we usually have more than we need, so we share what we have with family and friends.

There is plenty to go round, and there is the added bonus of knowing it is grown without lots of chemicals, ripened naturally on the tree, and very little in the way of carbon emissions in transporting it!

This year we are having a great citrus season. We do not have a lot ourselves - just a bush lemon ot two, an old orange tree that has just started bearing again after we cleared around it, a very sour mandarin, and a "Mary B" grapefruit (named after me) that has refused to bear after an over-severe pruning a couple of years ago.

There is also a young Meyer lemon, and an Egyptian lime which are still very young.

But we have been given lots of lovely fruit - Vanuatan grapefruit from John and Jan, yellow grapefruit and mandarins from Edie, tiny limes from the other Edie (they pack a punch!), oranges and mandarins from Shirley. And I have been able to buy plenty from our new Growers' Market.

And I have been making lots of marmalade!I really love cutting the peel. It is so therapeutic. Grapefruit peel is my favourite. It stays firm, but is not as chewy as orange peel. These pink grapefruit were a surprise and made a fantastic batch of marmalade. But as the season, and progressed, the flesh went a yellowy-green - but the marmalade still turned out great!

I must have made more than six or eight different batches - grapefruit, mandarin, sweet orange, 3 fruit, 4 fruit, chunky, fine shred. I even took the squeezed orange shells from Matt's stall at the markets and made a really lovely orange one.

Fortunately our bush lemon tree is loaded with fruit, because I always add the juice and pips of a couple of those to help with the setting.
Here are some of the jars in our old food safe.
There is no mystique about making marmalade. Some of the recipes make it sound complicated. I must admit my technique and process is a little different from most recipes. I always strain both the peel and the flesh really well.
Quantities? Well I must confess to "eyeballing" and fudging, but it always seems to work. And I have won first prize in the local show for the last two years, so I must be doing something right!

I suppose most people would steer clear of misshapen and black-skinned fruit like this in supermarkets on the mainland. But a bit of a scub with a pot scourer brings them up nice and clean. The fruit inside is not affected.
And we are so grateful for our lovely fresh and safe that we enjoy in such abundance here on Norfolk Island.


Anonymous said...

Ate the last spoon full of your marlalade this morning and enjoyed every bite.

Karen Mason

Karen said...

Looks lovely. I made three batches of strawberry jam the other day and have black currant and gooseberry to work on today.

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