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Get ready for the marmalade years | Letters | Food

I am 62 and have only just reached the “marmalade years” (The preserve of a long life, G2, 10 February), but I hope your readers enjoy my marmalade poem:


I am turning into somebody else
somebody who makes marmalade.

Somebody who rolls a cool thick Seville
against her cheek
breathing in the smell of Spain
in the dusk of Devon.

Somebody who cuts thin peel
skimming golden froth
from amber soup
in a January kitchen.

When did this happen?
Watching the teaspoon for the set,
boiling the jars
writing tidy labels.

I should be wearing
a white dress
gazing up through blossom
at a Spanish blue sky

biting into olive flesh,
and running my fingers
along red walls
warm with secrets

instead of lining up
nine jars of sun.

(First published in Exclamat!on Vol 1 and Moor Poets Vol IV)
Helen Scadding
Dartington, Devon

Clearly I’m not yet in my marmalade years. I proudly took a jar my partner and I had made to my 90-year-old marmalade-producing dad as a gift on Saturday. On Sunday morning I got up to find him “improving” the jar’s contents by reboiling it in a saucepan. Later I found the gift back in its jar and in my bag ready to be taken home. Those born between the wars may well have the edge on marmalade producing. I’m not so sure about manners.
Jan Stillaway

My mother had her 100th birthday last summer, and we made marmalade together a couple of weeks ago when I visited her from France. We needed to as she consumes up to a jar a week, and my sister can’t keep her supplied. I think that is evidence for marmalade contributing to longevity. That and sloe gin.
Clare Ronald
Riec sur Belon, France

Exactly 50 years ago, the song Reflections of my Life was a top 10 hit for the pop group Marmalade.
Steve Moore
Leumeah, New South Wales, Australia

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