Mamade Marmalade Thin Cut
In this age of hustle and bustle, life still offers a few refined and simple pleasures. Growing up in a family of four, my stay-at-home mother always tried to make breakfast our special family meal of the day. Weekend brunches were a must. Favourite creations were French Toast and Mini Crepes but best in my memory, lies the fondness of her homemade marmalade. Whether it was 8am or nearing lunch, there we would be, gathered together as a family around the kitchen table. At the centre, was her glass preserve jar filled with sweet delicious marmalade. There were several more of these specially designed preserve jars. Designed to preserve Mum’s extraordinary home made Ma Made.
I remember enjoying French crusty bread slathered with butter and topped with this delectable orange marmalade spread. Over a cup of tea and a scone topped with ma made, we had many afternoon conversations. When friends or neighbours came over, they loved our family ritual of afternoon tea. Along with cucumber sandwiches, we always included petite pastries and scones with devon cream and of course, the most incredible marmalade you had ever tasted. Even those who weren’t a fan of marmalade would instantly confess, that maybe they just hadn’t had the right kind, until now. We called Mum’s secret, Ma Made.
Everyone knew that my Mum made her own marmalade. Years later, I developed a critical taste to any store bought version, no matter how expensive or fancy, as nothing compared to the natural texture and taste of homemade. Sure, we had seen the stash of recognizable orange tins that mum kept in her pantry. They were said to contain the secret Seville oranges that came all the way from Spain.
But it was mum’s special ingredients (add water & sugar) plus a whole lot of love that went into preparing the secret mixture of Ma Made. Then presenting it as a royal preserve at the kitchen table was always such a treat to see. Other children may have had peanut butter sandwiches with the occasional dollop of strawberry jam but we were raised with a slightly more sophisticated palette. We acquired the love of marmalade, thin cut with a firm consistency and a memorable wholesome taste.
Well before we were old enough to pronounce the word marmalade correctly, we learned to call it Ma Made. Because well, our ma had made it and that instant connection was simple enough to remember. But Ma was always one to slide in a secret with double meaning, without you ever knowing, until later that the large tin of Seville oranges she used to prepare this exquisite spread was aptly called by its very name. Ma Made or MaMade Seville Oranges.
Each tin makes around around 6 pounds of delicious homemade marmalade spread. If you think that’s a lot, try eating it with a family of four and having neighbours and friends stop by for their own special allotment. My dad always loved having marmalade for his night time snack, usually over toast and breaded goat cheese cubes, but dad was a bit quirky that way. Mum loved spreading marmalade paste over her Sunday crumpets as that was her special pleasure. The kids and I always found a reason to have some no matter what we were eating whether we were enjoying toasted multigrain bagels, buttery croissants, pancakes, waffles or just sneaking a small scoop of marmalade from the preserve jar. Sorry mum, we know weren’t suppose to eat from the jar.
I make my own Ma Made now and my little ones absolutely love it. I’m so happy that so many generations later, this homemade marmalade staple still can be found in specialty stores and online stores like the Oakville Store. The Thick Cut Ma Made is now discontinued but to be honest, we always preferred the Thin Cut MaMade anyway.
I may not do the lavish breakfasts everyday or carry on with the weekend brunches in the same tradition that my Mum did for us. I guess, life gets busy, work and family obligations take up a lot of time. But whipping up a batch of fresh homemade MaMade Marmalade is easy and effortless. It’s so easy to prepare and virtually ready in 30 minutes. Plus it gives me 30 days of praise and smiles from my husband and kids. So that makes me feel really good about stocking up Ma Made and keeping this home made marmalade in ample supply.
So in a very important way, the family tradition does continue. And sometimes, I even pretend not to notice when someone’s eaten marmalade directly from the jar. I guess a mother just knows these things.
Depending on your country, you can buy it here: