The Psychology of Homemade


Homemade Marmalade – finger lickin’ good

I’m a huge fan of marmalade. I gobble the stuff and don’t always need toast to put it on. You might go so far as to call me a marmalade glutton. Which might not sound like a big deal except I used to actively dislike the stuff.

Then Frank started making batches  of kumquat marmalade and I thought it was okay. I mean, I’d eat it if there was nothing better on hand, or to be polite, but I could easily go without.

Then I was given a bag full of lemons and figured I could do better than drinking a lot of lemonade (which I did, but there were more lemons than that!). So I decided to try some lemon and orange marmalade. I used Frank’s recipe (actually, The Settlement Cook Book’s recipe) and made a batch using 4 cups of fruit, just enough water to cover the fruit and 4 cups of sugar.

I was a convert.


Lemons and oranges, ready to eat or to boil up with some sugar


Not many oranges left on this tree

I picked up some limes in the garden of a generous woman and tried lemon, lime & orange marmalade. I had a bucketful of oranges from my tree and I tried orange marmalade alone. So far I’ve made 5 batches and will, no doubt, make more before the citrus season is over. Partly because I don’t like to see food wasted. Partly because I suddenly love the stuff and don’t want to run out.

All of which tells me that my mind is weak. It can be swayed. If I grow it or make it, I like it a lot more than if I buy it. And I don’t just mean I like the idea of it more – sort of a green, sustainable, back-to-nature trend which is my kinda thing – I actually like the taste more. A lot more. And I think it’s permanent. I’m pretty sure if I ever am citrus-less or my stores of marmalade run dry, I’ll buy some because it’s that good. Me, the gal who used to wrinkle her nose at the stuff.

I suppose that I might have just grown to like marmalade, much as I have Brussel’s sprouts and asparagus. I might have. Or I might, at some primordial level, just like things I’ve created with my own hands.



5 batches of marmalade and counting


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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19 Responses to The Psychology of Homemade

  1. Emily Scott says:

    Marmalade cake is one of my favourites.

  2. Oh wow, that sounds fantastic. I might have to look that up. And make more marmalade!

  3. Homemade is more not only better but I think you value it more, thus you are more likely to give homemade a try. Amelia

    • I don’t like to think of the “value” of my time when I make homemade. My hourly rate would be appalling, but you’re right, there is some “value” in doing things for yourself that is a true value.

  4. vuchickens says:

    I think you are right that we tend to value our creations more, but I also wonder if it was the addition of the lemons that woke up your palette. I’m not a huge fan of marmalade, but I bet I would like it with lemons. 🙂

  5. Were you bought up eating marmalade? I always figured it was an acquired taste, and I’ve acquired it from a grandmother and mother who made it, and if they didn’t have any they’d made, they bought it.

    I love things I’ve made with my own hands far more than anything storebought. I always figured it is just a creative-person’s response to her creativity. Maybe it’s another way to acquire a taste for marmalade!

    • I am sure I tasted it as a child and found it way too bitter. It wasn’t anything we had in our kitchen so I must have tried it at friends. I always found it bitter and yucky. Until Frank started making it then things started shifting. Me making it was the straw that broke that bitter camel’s back.

      • Ah yeah, our family always had a bottle in the fridge.

        Well, I have to say when I realised just how much sugar goes into making that stuff, the bitter bit has a big fight to keep up. Maybe it was seeing all that sugar in the mix that helped 😛

  6. A friend brought me plums the other day, so I poured over plum recipes and settled on making spiced plum jam. It’s delicious, and, Yes, even better because I made it and my friend brought me the fruit–that adds a dimension.

  7. I love marmalade, it’s nice thinly spread on top of cheese too 😉 I’m sharing this recipe with my mum, she’ll love it!

  8. Seasonsgirl says:

    That looks so good my great grandma used to make marmalade I was told. I may have to try my hand at it 🙂

  9. You really should give it a go – maybe it’s implanted in your genetic memory and you’ll be channelling your great grandma!

  10. How much lovelier homemade marmalade and lemonade tastes though! I too am easily swayed. As I read this catching up on blog reading inbetween birthday and Christmas holidays, now I’m thinking of all the homemade festive foods that are to come! I hope you have a Happy Christmas 🙂

  11. Oh yes, Christmas gives plenty of opportunity for homemade treats.

    It’s nice that you’re catching up. I’m afraid life has taken a difficult turn and I’m not blogging and not even finding the time to read blogs right now. Which is why this Christmas greeting was especially nice to find in my inbox. You have a great Christmas as well and I hope 2015 is a good year for you and your tens of thousands of bees!

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