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Blame St. George for the lack of blogging

Too busy to blog substantively as it is St. George’s Day icon_flag_ENG.gif

St. George, doing his best to rid the world of endangered species

God’s Own Lunch

Gin and Marmalade cocktail (sort of a mutant Gimlet)

32 comments to Blame St. George for the lack of blogging

  • Bulldog Drumond

    I know exactly were you where! The Distillery on Portobello Road! I had the gin cocktail in an Ambrosia tin 😆

  • NickM

    You know you two that drinking cocktails outta old jars and tins is the thing of hipsters? For shame!

  • I am totally ok with the whole hipster thing Nick 😛

  • Alex

    That looks great, including the cocktail!

  • Julie near Chicago

    I am glad to see that Hippos, at least Evil ones, have the good sense to drink sort-of-gimlets made with gin, and not that horrible vodka stuff that smells and tastes exactly like rubbing alcohol. It’s a Russian plot, I tells yer! But I must admit it’s good for washing your feet. :>)

    I must say that having just finished all the chronicles of Lord Peter available on-site, when I saw “St. George” (but before I saw the emblem), for a brief moment I wondered what the heck Peter’s nephew had gotten up to now.

    My compliments on the caption. Excellent!


    Well, enjoy yourselves, guys & dolls. Mr. Hippo, if you’re gonna slay any interesting dragons while gimletting, please let me know so I can watch.

    PS. I’ll gladly share your marmalade, with or without the gin. Yum!


  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    If only Saint George were still around to use on the Eastern Dragons, i.e. China and North korea! Still, any libertarian award could be called the Saint George award, given to anyone who beats back any expansion of government, anywhere! Red tape is obviously ‘produced’ by tape worms, a minor, but prolific, branch of the dragon family.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nicholas, what an interesting fact (that the tapeworm is a low, smarmy, lousy form of dragon. If lice can piggyback on worms at all, of course)!

    In that case, you make a great point. And I bet you’re right. Even in the best of families produces the odd lowlife worm. (In fact some of them seem to produce nothing but, not that I would name any names.)

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Always glad to expand people’s knowledge, Julie near Chicago. You are the only Julie who regularly comments here, so why don’t you just call yourself … um Julie? I am not the only Nicholas, before you ask.

  • Eric

    Saw a joke today on youtube:

    “St. George, the patron saint of England, once slew a dragon. Somewhere. Why? Nobody really knows. “When?” is all the more of a hard question. But, if in the way in which much of England celebrates his feat is to be of any guide, then he must have got right royally drunk once he had finished slaying the beast.”

  • Mr Ed

    Begone, Saint George, you Norman-imposed usurper, and let us remember Saint Edmund the King and Martyr, as the good folk of East Anglia still do, after he was used for archery practice by invading heathen Danes.

    Old George has a nice flag, I grant that, but Saint Edmund was not only real, but also, for his time, a Eurosceptic.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Sadly, real English/Scottish marmalade is to be obtained for neither love nor money these days. However, I can provide excellent recipe on request.

  • Sadly, real English/Scottish marmalade is to be obtained for neither love nor money these days. However, I can provide excellent recipe on request.

    Wot??? I have members of the Women’s Institute on speed dial in case I find myself dangerously low on marmalade! Moreover, on a weekly basis I see countless formidable Barbor jacketed and Hunter wellied people called Prunella, Fiona, Antonia and Philippa, lurking with intent in church halls and lying in wait at assorted garden fetes, just waiting to pounce on you with a pot of eye wateringly expensive home made quince jam in one hand and a Kilner jar of bitter orange marmalade in the other!

  • NickM

    Any of these any use…


    Oddly enough the only place my Dad (who likes it – I can’t stand it) couldn’t get it was in Andalucia but that was in the ’80s.

  • NickM

    I quite easily managed to get a genuine IBM A-series keyboard (USA layout which I prefer – bigger left shift and it
    had Trackpoint which was a Napoleon of a Boney Arse). It is class. It had to be imported from the USA. It cost somewhat (for a KB) but I’d just had a bit of a big job so was a bit flush. It also has build quality to die for. Especially if you break in whilst I’m writing my novel. I could cold-cock a hippo with that bugger.

  • Laird

    Clovis, I for one would like to see your recipe. In my experience, the most difficult part of making marmalade is getting the Seville (bitter) oranges, which apparently are available only in January or thereabouts. And I’ve only been able to buy them on-line; they’re never in stores where I live.

  • JohnM

    Recently I bought a jar of Lemon + Vodka Marmalade at the Forest of Dean campsite shop. Superb!

  • Clovis Sangrail

    “Women’s Institute on speed dial … countless formidable Barbor jacketed and Hunter wellied people called Prunella, Fiona, Antonia and Philippa, ”
    You are right, of course!

    I elided dangerously. I should have said that there are no “commercial” suppliers of quality marmalade and that the product of the WI and Prunella is variable in quality-the best good, the average so-so but still better than the commercial offerings of Frank Cooper etc.
    My own small scale production (c 30 jars every Jan/Feb) is barely enough to keep a few close friends and relatives supplied.

  • Andrew Douglas

    Tiptree Tawny is a pretty good approximation of best homemade. Bitter sweet, slightly sloppy (Frank Coopers vintage is over jellied) and a good rich brown. House marmalade at the Carlton Club. Excellent breakfast for Tory swine!

  • Andrew Douglas

    It’s Barbour, by the way…

  • Clovis Sangrail

    (with apologies to Perry for turning this into a recipe swapping session).
    Recipe adapted from the bible for such things: Jams, Pickles and Chutneys by David and Rose Mabey.
    3lb fruit (Seville oranges) 6lb white granulated sugar, 2 lemons, 6 Imperial pints (7.5 US pints) water.
    Halve fruit and juice them (keeping pith and pips). Cut peel to desired size. Put pips and pith in muslin bag. Put juice, water and peel in jam cauldron and suspend bag of pips etc in the liquid. Boil gently for one hour-this extracts pectin from the pips and pith, softens the peel and reduces the water [if you have used a food processor to chop the peel reduce water and boiling time by a quarter]. Then remove muslin bag and stir in sugar. Bring back to a rolling boil and cook for 15-30 minutes checking every 5 minutes to see whether setting point has been reached (put a spoonful on a chilled plate for 2 minutes and then see whether it wrinkles slightly when you run the back of a spoon across it). Remove from heat for 10 minutes then put into jam jars (allow 12 1lb jars or 16 12 oz jars, heated and sterilized).

    If you can’t get Seville oranges, substitute 2 sweet oranges, 4 lemons and 2 grapefruit (omitting the extra lemons) to make 3 fruit marmalade-it’s not as bitter or as complex a taste but still bloody good and you can make it all year, not just in late Jan/early Feb when Sevilles are available.

    For lime marmalade which actually tastes of lime rather than lime flavour and sugar, use the same quantity (3lb) of limes instead.

    The real trick is mastering when the stuff has actually reached setting point. It’s not the end of the world if you take it off too early. Leave the marmalade to set for 48 hours in a cool but not very cold place-if it’s still too runny, boil it up again and start timing and testing from when it reaches a rolling boil. Classically, this is when you overcook it!

  • It’s Barbour, by the way…

    Don’t be a blog cunt. Nobody likes a blog cunt.

  • Laird

    Clovis, thanks. That’s pretty much the recipe I use, although I’ve always removed the pips. (And yes, getting it to set properly is the trick!) I tried adding some grated ginger once but didn’t much like the result. The suggestion of using grapefruits and lemons with sweet oranges is interesting; I may try that sometime. And the lime marmalade: definitely try that one!

    And I’ve just ordered that book.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Glad to be of assistance 🙂

  • Mr Ed

    And when it comes to red and white, or as the Austrians in the mid-1930s said “Rot, Weiß, Rot, bis wir sind todt” (Red, White, Red, Until we’re dead), there is cheery news that a lady, Ms Lisle-Mainwaring, in Kensington who painted her house in red and white candy stripes has won a judicial review against the Council’s planning order to repaint her house, the learned Judge ruling that aesthetics are wholly outside the scope of planning. This repainting was reportedly done after neighbours objected to a planning application for redevelopment, as if anyone would react in such a way to being told what to do with her own property.

    And those poor Austrians, they got dead.

  • KrakowJosh

    Re Marmalade: needs to be white cane sugar; beet sugar won’t set the same.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Clovis, I too thank you very much for your recipes, plural. Can’t wait to try the lime marmalade also.

    When I was a kid, Seville-orange marmalade was a Christmas tradition. (It was the only marmalade we ever had at my house; and I don’t remember seeing any other kind in the stores. Or the Seville either, maybe.) It seems to me it might have been Crosse & Blackwell’s, but I don’t remember for sure.

    My other favorite thing in that line is Keiler & Keiler’s Dundee Ginger Preserves, oh yum. Maybe they were the producers of the beloved Marmalade.

    Laird, where do you get your Seville oranges?

    NickM, thanks for the link. Excuse me now, I have to go Shop.



    I use “Julie near Chicago” in most places on the WWW. (Not on UT, however. If you ever see anything by “horkowl,” that would be me [sic], for no particular reason.)

    That way I am recognizable by a few regulars at neoneocon.com, thepoliticalhat.com, countingcats.com *sob* and so forth; furthermore, now that we all belong to the global village, people might get a hint as to which country and even which part of that country I call “home.”

    No reason why you have use the full handle, though. Just “Call Me Julie.” *g*

    Yes, there are you in Oz and NickM on the Sceptred Isle. I think once in a great while we see another Nick, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I think it’s generally pretty obvious as to which Nick I’m addressing, but where there’s a question I try to make it clear.

    –J. 🙂

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed: The blood boileth.

    But, where do you draw the line? Who gets to decide what’s “dilapidation,” for instance? Sometimes a property really is dilapidated, but so what?

    Here’s another along the same lines. Across the street from my former house, there lived a lady whose kids are grown and gone, and whose husband died not so long after my own. Eventually she decided to go live with her daughter and son-in-law, and their kids. The housing market was down (what a surprise! -NOT-), so she ended up accepting an offer that, I am told, displeased the neighbors: lowered their property-values, don’tcha know.

    I suppose so. But I didn’t think you were supposed to have your life and the dispensation of your property run along whatever course “the neighbors” think is acceptable. (Not that The Neighbors can even agree on that vexed issue.)


  • Laird

    Julie, this is where I’ve bought Seville oranges. They’re only available around January, though.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Julie and Laird:
    afterthoughts: cut peel very thin if you are making lime marmalade. Peel the grapefruit and remove their pith by hand if making three fruit marmalade.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird and Clovis: Thank you. :>)

  • Bob H

    Having made all sorts of marmalade in the past, I have come to the conclusion that the constant reference to Seville oranges is a scam to get rid of rubbish.

    Seville oranges are the ugliest filthiest oranges available. They have no value whatsoever in the fruit bowl, and thus cannot generally be sold.
    Turn them into marmalade specialities!

    The scam has obviously worked, as proven by all the dummies who believe it. But the truth is that you can make marmalade from any type of orange, and as far as I am concerned, bitter is better. And do not be fooled into cutting and throwing the pith away as many recipes tell you.

    If I ever find cheap oranges, past their sell by dates or whatever, I will buy them and turn them into excellent marmalade.

    Several years ago, my wife and I shared large Jaffa oranges every breakfast. However it irritated me that such a large lump of thick peal was always left behind, so whilst I contemplated a solution, I started to collect the peal in the fridge. (I also dried it near the wood burner as orange peal with all its oils makes excellent fire lighters.)

    Then I happened to pass a huge crab apple tree with a sea of apples covering the ground. We collected buckets full, initially with the intent of making crab apple jelly.
    Half way through the process, a brainwave suddenly changed my plans. I chopped all the orange peal and added a large quantity to the apple jelly, letting it boil away with the appropriate amount of sugar.

    When it had set, we had one of the most amazing marmalades we had ever tasted. It had both tastes running parallel, rather than just blended together.
    Despite just being orange peal with no flesh, the flavour of orange was very strong, with a very distinct background of crab apple. Yum.