New kids’ book celebrates life on the farm

A businesswoman has poured her passion for food, farming and cooking into a new children’s book.

Julian Warrender is the founder of Ouse Valley – a food business producing award-winning marmalades, chutneys and jams. But her latest venture has a more literary slant.

The story of Granny Marmalade and Uncle Tractor follows a farming family through the fun and challenges of life on the farm, as they go about growing fruits and vegetables, silaging, foraging in the hedgerows and collecting eggs.

Aimed at four- to eight-year-olds, the story starts during marmalade-making season at the start of the year, and finishes at Christmas. The book is punctuated with simple recipes that link the food they grow on the farm, with the food they eat at the table.

All the stories and characters are based on Julian’s own experiences of living on a farm, and it was important to her that the story stayed true to life.

“The very root of our existence depends on the harmony between food production and farming and we have a profound duty of care to respect both,” says Julian. “My hope is that Granny Marmalade and Uncle Tractor will catch children’s imagination to this end and delight them.”

Farmers Weekly also played its own small part in the book. Illustrator Gavin Rowe bought a few copies to make sure his drawings of livestock and farm machinery were accurate.

“I found Farmers Weekly an indispensable source of information – and caused intrigue and amusement at my local shop as to why I had suddenly developed a keen interest in farm machinery!”

Granny Marmalade and Uncle Tractor is available to buy on Amazon, from good independent bookshops and direct from the publisher

‘Nearly’ marmalade for kids, by Granny Marmalade

“Here is a recipe that will introduce young taste buds to the deliciousness of marmalade,” says Granny Marmalade. “It can be made from start to finish by an eager five-year-old.”

2 135g packets of orange jelly

2 295g tins of mandarin segments in fruit juice

2 medium-sized oranges

Remove the zest from the two oranges, taking care to make the shreds as long as possible. Use a special citrus zester to do this. Put zest to one side.

Cut the oranges in half and squeeze; keep the juice. Drain the mandarins, keeping the juice. Combine the mandarin and orange juice and measure. You will need 570ml. If there is not enough juice, make up the difference with water.

Cut the jelly into squares and combine with the juice mix. Warm the jelly and juice in the microwave, then stir the mix until the jelly dissolves. Allow to become tepid. Add mandarin pieces and orange zest.

Allow the mix to cool until it begins to thicken and the shreds are suspended. Pour the mix into clean jam jars and lid them immediately. Place in the fridge to complete setting process. Store in the fridge.

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