orange2No matter how much marmalade Mary Tudor ate, she couldn’t get pregnant.

Of course, the queen of England’s plan to use fruity spread to produce an heir to the throne probably wasn’t one of her greater ideas. But perhaps “Bloody Mary’s” judgment was clouded by all the executions she was ordering.

Nonetheless, marmalade remained a staple of British food for centuries — it was Paddington Bear‘s favorite breakfast, you know — until more recent times, when it began to lose ground to peanut butter amid orange shortages. Yet, in California, we have a pretty good supply of oranges, making marmalade a fun, old timey option for breakfast.

Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits, boiled in sugar and water. It can be made from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges.

In California, the peak navel orange season is winding down, but customers still had plenty of samples to choose from at the R. Schletewitz Family Farms booth in Morro Bay recently, where Pablo Gonzalez was slicing up the fruits for samples.

orange3“A lot of people juice my oranges,” he said. “They make smoothies with them.”

A few also asked about marmalade, which can be made from his navel oranges and tangelos.

If you want to make your own marmalade, be forewarned: The process for making marmalade is as slow as molasses. That’s another reason it’s losing popularity in England: The younger, on-the-move generation of Brits simply doesn’t have time to mess with it. But if you have a little time and a few Mason jars around, here’s a site that provides a step-by-step process, with photos.

Don’t forget to check out the oranges and other goods at farmers’ market this week in Arroyo Grande (Wednesday, 8:30-11 a.m., at Spencer’s Market and Saturday, 12-2:30 p.m., at the Village); Morro Bay (Thursday, 2:30-5 p.m., Spencer’s Fresh Market); San Luis Obispo (Thursday, 6:10-9 p.m., downtown and Saturday, 8-10:45 a.m., World Market)