I used to hate January – with a passion. The grey days, long nights, lack of funds etc etc. It always seems like such a long month with nothing to look forward to. So a few years ago I started putting together a couple of little rituals that make January that bit more bearable. Even a little bit joyous, because sometimes the littlest joys are the best ones.
1) The first peep of snowdrops makes me so happy. I love them, so small, so gorgeous, so tough they generate their own heat to flower, which I find so admirable. I plant more every year, there will never be enough snowdrops for me in any garden.
2) Marmalade, can’t tell you how much I love to make marmalade. It started about eight years ago, when I was editing a reprint of a jams and preserves book. The recipes got me hooked and I had to have a go. The results were…edible…to those who love me, but not brilliant. Things have improved over the years. The Sevilles in the bowl are just enough to form the first batch of marmalade which I’ll be boiling up tomorrow. That first year I sliced the skins up by hand, the juice found every single cut and hang nail on my hands and I’ve never done it since. I always pulse the skins up in a food processor, purists may recoil with horror but I like the uneven texture it gives the finished marmalade. A bowl of oranges, a couple of lemons and granulated sugar makes breakfast a happy meal.
Small joys, just enough to break up the grey keep me quietly smiling and looking forward to spring.
Thanks for reading.