Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?


Probably not, but that’s what I found myself doing on this dark solstice morning.  My excuse was an accidental purchase at the local farmers’ market. I had gone along to stock up on the last minute Christmas veg and preparation for an influx of sons over the next few days. Oranges were on the list and it was only as I was paying for them that the stall holder told me they were Seville oranges, bitter and suitable only for cooking, or marmalade.  Not being the kind of person to start complaining, I duly paid for them and brought them home and made marmalade, as you do. Unplanned but, I hope, rather good

20191222_102621So probably not a new solstice tradition but the effect of having stopped work for a couple of weeks and having a bit more head space to do some interesting and creative things with my time. Another of those was making a couple of home made wreaths for the house.. This very home made attempt, based on a stick star, some bits of ivy and festive cotoneaster berries

20191221_154459[1]and this one, based on a wooden heart (bought from a shop several years ago) and entwined with rosemary, thyme and mint:

20191221_1602241.jpgThe little bird hook came from a broken bird feeder thing that I’ve had for a few years too.  I try to resist buying new Christmas decorations so most of what goes up in our house comes from a big cardboard box, dating back decades and including some rather tasteful craft items that people gave us as gifts and some less tasteful, but, equally valued, treasures made by or chosen by my now grown up sons during their childhoods.  The one thing that must go up though is the Christmas pudding cat frieze, which my parents brought back from a trip to the USA about twenty years ago.  It combines two Christmas essentials: cats and Christmas puddings. They live for a couple of weeks every year on the stairs, providing photo-opportunities for Bella and Chelsea



But not at the same time.

Other festive goings on from the advent calendar this week include looking down on trees from the majestic Dean Bridge in Edinburgh:


More frosty broccoli, red rowan berries against a grey sky, sharing one of my huge apples for breakfast, Edinburgh Castle looking impressive in the late winter light, and spotting this self-seeded garlic chive throwing more seeds around the paving in the front garden

A true sign of the returning light and the promise of spring

7 thoughts on “Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

  1. Now, I hadn’t thought of making a wreath with cotoneaster! I had been going to dig mine out but I might just prune it instead, then we will have a wreath next Christmas.

    I love your cat decoration – how charming.

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