Today is another milestone in the life of Chewing the Fat. This is our first guest post! It’s not, however, the first appearance of its authors, my dear “cousins”, Sir John and Lady Martha Stracey. The bakers among you likely swooned over Lady Martha’s Austrian cookie recipes: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/12/three-authentic-austrian-cookie-recipes.html which have received a staggering 2931 page views making the post the second most popular in our history. Today, the Straceys share their family recipe for Seville Orange Marmalade. But before we get to that, how, you may wonder, did I end up ‘cousins’ with anyone in the British Aristocracy? Here’s the tale:
Our home in Montreal was like an Open House almost all the time. My parents loved to entertain. They had masses of friends from everywhere you could imagine. Particularly, there was sizable English contingent, friends made while both my parents served in World War II. My mother spent most of the war in London. My father was shipped off to Italy leaving my mother to mix and mingle and make lifelong friends. One of these was my godmother. Her heir was a young man who came out to go to McGill University. Whatever housing situation he’d worked out for himself, didn’t work for my mother who insisted he live with us. Which he did. For something like 5 years. He was truly a member of the family and the best man at my wedding.
While in Montreal, Simon (now Sir John) met and married a glorious Austrian beauty named Martha Egger. My parents adored her. We all did. Through all the years she lived in Canada, she kept the Austrian traditions going including, most memorably, real candles on the family Christmas tree. After years in Canada, Simon and Martha and their two children, Nadja and Daniella, returned to England where they have all lived happily ever after.
Now this recipe is another annual family tradition, held down by Martha with the making of the marmalade, or ‘marmers’ as Simon calls it. The recipe is Martha’s late mother’s hence the “Nach Oma’s Art”. Apparently it’s high season for Seville oranges in Britain and the perfect time to break this out. You will note that Simon has given you a most detailed recipe with directions for every step of the process. After all, he did study engineering at McGill. Here’s the recipe with great thanks to Sir John and Lady Martha: