Ave Maria Marmalade


I’m still making marmalade! At the moment I’m also tasting it and deciding which batch to send off to the Marmalade Awards in Cumbria later this week.

I’ve got three to choose from:

The boozy one, or as the competition organisers call it “Merry Marmalade”. Mine has got Spanish Sherry in it, inspired by the origin of my organic Seville oranges I’ve used to make it. It’s also where we go on our family summer holidays so it is a perfect fit in my opinion.

The spiced one has a delightful combination of crystallised ginger and cardamom. They compliment the bitter oranges very well and leave your mouth with a lovely warm gingery taste that’s really interesting but not overpowering.

The third is Ave Maria Marmalade. This fine cut (by hand) marmalade is made from the best organic oranges – sourced from a family run orange grove in Seville called Ave Maria Farm. Their dedication to their oranges means their produce is in tip top condition and that means tip top marmalade!

They are of such good quality that it takes only a few minutes of “hard boiling” to achieve a set, because of the excellent levels of pectin contained in them.

This year I’m calling my marmalade made with these oranges ‘Ave Maria Marmalade’.

I’m hoping that the judges at the Marmalade Awards taste the goodness in those little golden jars…the bar has already been set pretty high, but I’m keen to have another go!


Wedding Favours


I’ve been creating some wonderful miniature jars of golden marmalade ready for Eddie’s Wedding- using this season’s gorgeous Ave Maria organic Seville oranges..

The citrus smells are all around the house- so warming and comforting on a cold and grey January day..

I’ve cut the peel extra fine so it looks delicate and pretty in the glass jars.

Next stop, white ribbon and label to finish them off..

I love doing wedding favours for my brides (and grooms!). They capture the excitement, anticipation and beauty of the forthcoming big day.

It gives me a lovely warm, fuzzy feeling inside – hope it helps thaw out my frozen fingers..bbbrrr!

Coffee & Cake – A successful combination!

Friday saw May’s Kitchen (hallway, sitting room and garden) turn from a comfortable (read messy) family home, into a hive of Christmassy activity. The decorations went up, coffee was made and an incredible array of homemade cakes donated.

We were lucky to have a dry, reasonably fair late November day. Myself and six other talented local ladies brought out our homemade wares and displayed them amongst the pots, pans and cookery books in my kitchen.


The local community, from Chainhurst, Marden and beyond came along to support us – what an amazing turnout!

Thank you to everyone.

You all even managed to find my house- no mean feat when some from Marden haven’t heard of Chainhurst..

The coffee was drunk, the cakes were devoured and the chatter so loud you could hardly hear the old Christmas classics playing in the background!

But that’s what I had in mind- a relaxed coffee morning with friends with the opportunity to buy some nice pressies while you were nattering.


That’s my kind of shopping..seems lots of you enjoyed it too.

I’ve already decided to do it again next year- perhaps a summer fair too?

I’m still sweeping up cake crumbs, but it was worth it!


Craft Christmas Fair – buy local this year!


I am proud to present my craft Christmas fair, taking place on 28 November 2014.

I have hand picked a selection of very talented local people offering a selection of high quality and beautiful products, making them ideal gifts for Christmas.

Stunning jewellery, beautiful bags, vintage china & glassware, hampers and gift sets filled with homemade preserves, delightful artwork and shabby chic signs, and festive greetings cards will all be on offer.

There will be free tea, coffee and cake to provide a cosy and friendly shopping environment. Families very welcome ( I have lots of toys in the playroom for the kids to play with!)

Flyers will be put up in Marden & Chainhurst…keep you eyes peeled for them…

Buy local this Christmas and spread the word!

Love May’s Kitchen