Optimistic, I tested after five by dropping a teaspoonful onto a saucer. The marmalade was liquid...after ten, fifteen minutes, it still didn't look like anything with the potential to be eventually spreadable. The instructions advised using a clean saucer for each test, and at twenty-five minutes I had to start using those from the best tea service. If it boiled too long, the recipe admonished, it would never set. Had it boiled too long, or not long enough? What to do with a pan of unset marmalade? At thirty minutes I was giving up hope, when at last the sticky mess on a saucer formed a skin. I touched it and watched it wrinkle - yay, my effort had metamorphosed into marmalade!
Who knew all this would take so long! In such an amount of time, I could have written a couple of chapters...or perhaps not. After this culinary experience, I returned with some relief to my novel-in-progress, where I needed to rescue two characters from a 'sticky' situation which had nothing to do with marmalade.
Best wishes, Priscilla