This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Mention Paddington Bear and what do you think of? Could it be the mysteries of deepest, darkest Peru? Or maybe The Browns? Mrs Bird? The hard stare? Or a blue duffle coat? Perhaps even the message 'please look after this bear'?
Or could it be the first thing you think of, when someone mentions his name, is marmalade? Most notably marmalade sandwiches. One of which is always kept underneath his hat, just in case of emergencies.
Paddington and marmalade is food in fiction at its very best. Because, for Paddington, marmalade is delicious. It is comforting. It reminds him of home. And a jar provides all the nutrition and vitamins a bear needs. It also serves to make the books incredibly comforting.Despite the fact I cannot bear, (ha, bear, geddit?) cooked oranges, preserved in a jar, I love the fact that Paddington adores it so much. It gives him character and it provides a vital link for the entire plot. From deepest, darkest Peru, where an English explorer discovered this unique bear, to this quintessential English breakfast item.
The creator of Paddington, Michael Bond, wrote the first book in 1958. Paddington had his own TV show in the 1970s and 1980s before, more recently, becoming a film star in 2014. The film is produced by David Heyman – who also produced the Harry Potter films – so there were high hopes. It also starred Hugh Bonneville, Julia Walters, Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi, which is quite the cast. I have to say I found it a lot of fun. And I loved that there was such an emphasis on the marmalade and the marmalade sandwiches.
Right now it is marmalade season. And by that I mean the seville oranges are in the shops. These bitter oranges, lasting just a short time from January to February are the best ones to make marmalade from. There are lots of marmalade recipes around on the internet. The one I used was from January's Simple Things Magazine but you can also find Nigel Slater's in The Guardian and this one on the BBC Good Food website.
It is simple to make; all you need are oranges and some sugar, a large pan and some sterilised (in the oven) jam jars. If you like marmalade, just have a go. Paddington might even pay a visit to help you eat your creations.