1.31.2010

Candle Making, St. Brigid's Day and Candlemas









Today we made candles. No one got burned. No one cried. And no one screamed, including me. I consider this a win. I'd never made dipped tapers before today, I was a bit intimidated by hot wax but it wasn't too bad. In fact the cooler the wax ,the better they dipped and after we figured that out it was easy going. We sacrificed a few quart canning jars and 2 smaller jars for melting and dipping and we fashioned a hanging rack right over the counter. The whole project was relatively easy and took about 1 1/2 hours.

Here's a quick step by step:
  1. purchase wicks and wax we got some at Michaels but found a better price for beeswax at Jas.Townsend.com
  2. rustle up a few jars and a big pot for boiling water, it is important to have your wax in jars in water, never right on the heat source
  3. have helpers happily hack the wax into chunks
  4. melt the wax, in jars, in a pot of boiling water
  5. meanwhile-cut wicks twice as long as 1 candle + extra for hanging them over the drying pole
  6. then-erect a drying pole, hopefully right over your dipping station area
  7. and-set up your dipping station, wax proof paper on the bottom, then a hot pad or rag to put the jars of melted wax on, have a few extra pads or rags around
  8. keep an eye on the wax ,when it has melted remove it from the hot water and let it cool for a bit, if you dip when the wax is too hot it just melts the previous coat right off-LAME!!
  9. we actually set up a system-we had two smaller jars and as the wax was used we added more wax from a quart jar that was already cooling
  10. then as we dipped a set of wicks we placed them to the far right on the drying pole and then added sets to the left
  11. as the row filled up we just removed the farthest out pairs, re-dipped them and moved them to the left end of the pole then began filling in behind them, this way the candles cooled before we dipped them again, repeat, repeat, repeat...
  12. as far as clean up went we simply let the wax cool in the jars and then they are ready to melt again, I washed the big pot with pretty hot water to melt out any wax residue and we set the cooled jars of wax in a basket and put them on the craft shelves, with the wicks and any rags that are too waxy to use for other things
St. Brigid's day was brought to me by my re-enactor husband. She is a Patron Saint of Ireland or a Triple Celtic Goddess, depends on you and your beliefs I guess. In either case she is associated with perpetual sacred flames(Brigid), healing, craftsmanship, poetry which are considered the flame of knowledge(ST. Brigid). Some people believe that St. Brigid was a fictional character made up to turn the Celts into Christians, then again she could have been just named after the original Brigid. We usually trek out on St. Brigid's Day to light a candle at a little alter in our woods, I can't wait to take out a hand dipped candle this year and light it.

Candlemas is celebrated on the second of February, it's a cross quarter day, half way between solstice and equinox. Traditionally this is the time of year when you begin to see the days getting longer. It's also the Feast of Presentation and the day when churches would have their candles blessed. I found this poem that I like quite a bit, I wish I knew who wrote it:

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will another fight
If Candlemas Day brings clouds and rain
Winter won't come again

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair
The half o the winter's to come and mair
If Candlemass be wet and foul
The half o the winter's gane at Yule

Of course February second is also groundhog day, which I don't really care for but lots of other people do, including wee folk in this house.

So as you can see there is a lot wrapped up in these first couple day of February. Depends on your religion, beliefs and your preferences, what you take notice of and celebrate. Me, I prefer to mix it all together. I take joy in the sun returning, longer days and the retreat of winter. I dip candles with my kids and light one for St. Brigid. And I smile at poor old Puxatawney Phil who looks crankier every year.



Peace and Love,




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Vegetarian Pate



This is based loosely on Mollie Katzen's Walnut Pate. I say loosely because the only way it resembles her recipe is because it contains feta, olives and nuts. I was craving some Walnut Pate today after feasting on it last weekend at a party. Of course my cabinets held no walnuts OR greek olives. I did have green olives and pecans and that's where I started from.

Vegetarian Pate
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup green olives
1/2 roasted red peppers
3/4 feta cheese crumbles
**2 Tbsp olive oil-optional-or to taste
In the bowl of a food processor add the pecans, olives and peppers
pulse to grind
then add the feta process until texture is to your liking
add olive oil only you prefer it to be thinner
serve with celery sticks, carrot disks, cucumber slabs or pita chips

It was completely different form the Walnut Pate I had last weekend but still filled the salty, creamy, dippy void I had. I will definitely be making the original whenever I get around to remembering to buy walnuts.

An impromptu painting project popped up today. I have a small nook in my kitchen with book shelves in it, where I keep my cookbooks. I finally got tired of it being painted a different color than the rest of my kitchen (pay no mind to the fact that I have NO CEILING only floor joists and floor above the kitchen) so I tackled it. It turned out great but lead to another gutting project, my cookbooks! I have been giving them the evil going over and have eliminated at least 5 of them. I'd like to get it 5 more out of here but I'm not sure if I can part with any more.

Peace and Love,



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1.29.2010

What we've been doing

Well the exciting thing for us this week was the sun coming up on the EAST side of Pioneer Peak. That means spring is coming. It also gave us an entire extra hour of direct sunlight. Score one for the frozen humans!



We also did some measuring,




Gutting


Organizing,I LOVE MY LABEL MAKER!!



And random hooligan shenanigans with empty bottles and food color



All supervised by the ever excited Kami, AKA the Kamster

Peace and Love,



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Crusty Salmon + Rhubarb Crisp---eating from the freezer



I know what you all are thinking "mmmmm crusty salmon sounds delicious, can't wait to get me some of that" Right?? Well here's the story behind that title: I'm on twitter once in a while (shut it) and foodbuzz too and I keep seeing these long overly described recipe titles. Seriously I have seen 7 adjectives to describe cake, fruity apple spice bundt cake with maple pecan cream cheese frosting. I think these food bloggers have decided that the best way to name something and have it pull up on a search engine is to name every special tidbit in the recipe, so just in case you might be looking for fruity apple spice bundt cake with maple pecan cream cheese frosting you will find their post FIRST. I'm not sure if it's so they get more hits on their sites, or because they can't just say cake because a FOODIE would never say something as plain as cake. I am taking a minimalist approach to my recipes and their names.

So while this recipe could have been 3 mustard salmon with panko or, better yet, Wasabi, Horseradish, Brown mustard and Panko Crusted Salmon I prefer to call it by it's minimalist name, Crusty Salmon. 5 ingredients (plus salt pepper and water), easy recipe, simple, fast and good. Plus my kids liked it and its got Omega 3 fatty acids. WOOT! Trifecta. Oh. OK, maybe salmon isn't affordable to everybody...dang just thought of that. Hmmmm buy it when it's on sale or beg some from friends who happen to have some in their freezer.

Crusty Salmon oven 400˚

2 pounds salmon fillets, cut in serving size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder-more for more kick
2 Tablespoons Guldens Spicy mustard
1 teaspoon water
salt and pepper
3/4 cup Panko

On a foil lined baking sheet lay out your salmon
mix the horseradishes and the mustard together add water mix again
plop a little dollop on each fillet piece
spread evenly with the back of a spoon, make sure each piece is covered on the top
sprinkle on the salt and pepper
pour the Panko on a plate
take each piece of salmon and dip the covered top in the bread crumbs
place back on the baking sheet
repeat until the salmon is coated
throw out leftover panko
bake until salmon is mostly done, test after 10 minutes
then run the salmon under the broiler to crisp and brown the top, about 2-3 minutes more

with mustard glaze

then panko



then browned

This is far and away the best salmon recipe I have come up with. You can add as much of any of the 3 mustards as you want, I went light in order to NOT burn tongues off. You may want your tongue burnt off, I don't know.

I also whipped up a rhubarb crisp today from rhubarb I froze last summer. If my 6 year old asking for thirds was any indication, I'll have to say we have been missing rhubarb.



Rhubarb Crunch---oven 350 degrees

4-6 cups of chopped rhubarb-if frozen just toss it right in the pan
1/2 -1 cup sugar- use what you need for your personal taste sour to super sweet,
3 TBSP flour, white or whole wheat


Topping
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup of flour, white or whole wheat
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shelled pecans
1/2 thick rolled oats

lightly grease an 8X8 square pan or pan of equivalent size
pour in your rhubarb
sprinkle with sugar and flour, toss together

in a food processor pulse the butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon together, until they form course crumbs
add the pecans and oats, pulse lightly, you don't really want to chop up the oats just mix them in well
when the crumbs are mixed together sprinkle on top of the rhubarb
bake in a 350 degree oven until the top in browned and the rhubarb is bubbly, 35-45 minutes
serve warm or at room temperature
cream poured over is nice, if you have it


We have been eating from our freezer pantry quite a bit lately, using up the fruits of out labors. We still have salmon to get through, chickens, fruits and a few packs of sausages and vegetables. In our canned pantry we have relish, jams and jellies. And lots of dried herbs still. We are still picking away at the onions and I haven't bought any since July.

Anybody else already planning a garden or CSA share? I'd love to hear about it and what recipes you use to eat what you grow or share in. Plus this summer as crops start rolling in if you have any questions or need a recipe just drop me an email. In the meantime I plan to get my arse in gear and label ALL my posts so you can easily find fruit and vegetable recipes. Ingenious!

Plus if you are interested in a handmade Valentine Exchange please leave me a comment or drop me an email. If you respond you will be obliged to get our your glue, glitter, doilies and red paper and make someone a valentine. And then send it! Thems the rules, even if you think you are a Queen and don't have to play by the rules.



Peace and Love,

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1.27.2010

On a Tear



For all intents and purposes my house would be considered big. Although it isn't HUGE with a bathroom for every bedroom, a great room, a kitchen table and a separate dining room it is big enough to make it a struggle to keep in order let alone clean. I think order is the killer of cleanliness in this house, as in we have none, so people with penis' can't possibly think of a logical place to put stuff sorightfreakin'hereisperfect!! Which then creates the precedent that of course dirty dishes belong on the dryer, IN THE BASEMENT, sweaters SHOULD be laid on living room chairs (repeatedly) and wet towels entangled with yesterdays clothes look perfect everywhere. There are also the perennial favorites of laying whatever is in your hand down where ever you are standing, dropping, kicking and pretending not to notice whatever was in your hand and then the spill and ignore, which is a long standing opposite sex policy of mess making.

Do you see where I am coming from here? I live with 4 of these.

I'll let that sink in. FOUR!

Do you wonder why I need a pot of coffee each morning, just to get me through the morning? I hate clutter, it's depresses me, then come to find out it it really can depress you, or make you nuts. One more bit of depressing-ness (a word I swear!) I am the main purchaser of stuff so while they are stacking stuff, I'm hauling it home. SO I am on a tear. This house is getting crap reduction surgery.

It all started in the furnace room, with empty boxes, thatohmygodwemightneedsomeday! and they had to go. Suddenly the room was about 80% clean. And that felt really really good. We bagged donations, sorted leftovers and boom clean room. So it went on to the coal room, a minuscule room off the furnace room where they used to store...coal, where we now store more dishes than we need. And woosh another sweep, more donations, more clean!

It was catching! The next weekend we made a list of little things that needed doing and, get this, we did them! Then I took a day and deep cleaned each little boy bedroom, coerced them into donating a bunch of stuff, took out there outgrown clothes and there rooms looked so nice! And they pick them up each day to keep them clean. It doesn't hurt either that one of them stepped on a lego so hard he cut his foot which is mega incentive in itself to pick stuff/put it where it goes. I have been enforcing lately the put away 3 things that don't belong...and all the legos.


I turned on the main floor with a vengeance and everyday I get to one more cluttered, swamped, messy spot and muck it out. And I feel so good. Everybody seems really into getting organized and helping out which I need because if I hear one more screech especially while I'm knee deep in clothes that don't fit anyone, someone is going to get hurt.

This picture:

inspired my most recent
  • realization
  • gutting
  • inspired realization/gutting
I have come to the realization that instead of fitting into the spaces we have, I have purchased things to help me get organized rather than just working within my space/storage/box capacity. It was easier to go buy magazine boxes for all those old family fun magazines to store them, then it was to look through them, pull a few cool ideas and jettison the rest. It was easier to simply keep cramming empty boxes in the furnace room than it was to decide how many boxes are reasonable to have on hand, what sizes and what to do with the rest of them. And the gutting the photo inspired was that lovely old roll top desk the silver dishes are on. It sticks, it's hard to open, so instead of dealing with it I simply opened it as far as it would go and crammed stuff in it. This is when I began to understand our even bigger problem. We can't live within our boundaries, we needed more to feel better but it made us feel worse. Either we use and love what we have or we get rid of it and get something else we use and love. We don't need to replace without getting rid of, that is just crazy. Instead of fixing the desk I was cramming desk stuff everywhere else, forcing the desks contents into other parts of the house and shifting things to where they didn't belong. And we were I was doing it again and again and again. That is so over.


When/IF spring ever comes I'll be ready to go outside and I won't be worried about clutter, junk and stacks inside. Oh don't get me wrong I'm sure it will all creep back in eventually but I swear I'm going to donate, freecycle or use up things I have. When I buy something I'm going to think long and hard about it's useful life and if I can't picture it in use I AM NOT BUYING IT.

See how OTHER people made my house messy and cluttery? **snort** I love these realization posts. Their inability to put stuff where it goes mixed with my inability to responsibly organize and utilize spaces led to massive problems.

I did find some cool stuff I didn't even know I had, vintage cards and postcards. Awesome! Old Judas Priest ticket stub, wooden Alaska post card and a World Wildlife Fund Panda Sticker. Not so Awesome! Need to jettison. Hmmm maybe I'll give them away. Remnants of Laura's of life.....


Peace and Love,




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1.26.2010

Bacon Salad-because you asked for it


And if you didn't too damn bad. I have converted my kids to spinach eaters all with the easy addition of BACON! Ok it sounds like a bribe but it's actually a pretty huge salad and 4 slices of bacon BUT if I called it spinach salad or mega green bowl of stuff that's good for you it would be all over. So Bacon Salad it is and if you need to call it spinach salad for your sanity go ahead, I don't mind.

This is a lunch or dinner salad easily adapted to the ingredients you have on hand. I like to put feta in it but we were out of feta so I stuck in some green olives to give it that salty kick and they really worked. I also added raisins because I came across them stuck in the WRONG cupboard and decided we better get busy eating them. Does it seem to anyone that a LOT of my cooking ideas come from the realm "OH MY GAH I need to use the YESTERDAY?" Am I afraid someone might get sick, occasionally but I don't share those fears here. If it's too far gone the chickens get it unless it's meat then the Kamster gets it.

We don't waste anything around this house, unless you count space. But I'm going to save that issue for another post this week. I'll give you a hint though: Lets just say the clutter, crapstacking, cubby-holing, pack ratting, hoarding, sliding piles of junk are no more. OK, on their way out not completely banished yet, yeah magazines from the '90s I am talking directly to you. Fear me!

Bacon Salad
4 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup pecans
1 apple chopped to roughly 1 inch squares-yes wash it and don't chop the core!
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup raisins
1 10 ounce bag of washed spinach-use fresh local organic when you can I can't right now-wash it spin it dry
3 Tablespoons drippings
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
dash o' pepper

heat a heavy duty frying pan over medium high heat
snip the bacon with cooking shears directly into the hot pan, stir then let cook until crispy stirring as needed
in the meantime in another small frying pan/skillet/whatever is clean I discovered today a dutch oven works fine-toast the pecans over medium high heat, 5-7 minutes, stir occasionally
then work on the rest of the salad, make sure the spinach is dry then pour it in a big bowl
add the apples, olives and raisins-don't mix it up yet
keep an eye on your pecans remove them from the heat when they are toasty, set aside
measure the vinegar out to be ready to use it
sugar, salt and pepper can go in a bowl
when the bacon is crispy remove it to drain
pour off the drippings then measure out the drippings back to the pan, you can leave all the little crispy bits in the pan
put the pan back over the heat and add the vinegar scrape to deglaze the pan
let it get nice and hot then add the sugar mix
stir well for one minute
toss on the pecans and bacon on the spinach
pour the hot dressing over everything (in the bowl!)and stir until slightly wilted
serve bacon salad to unsuspecting 4 and 6 year olds who hunt and peck for bacon while chowing down on spinach
mix it up by changing the fruits used, or try blue cheese instead of salty olives, or try feta YUM!

A word on sneaking vegetables to kids. DON'T DO IT! Yes I know I totally made a salad labeled bacon salad to get them to eat spinach BUT they eat all vegetables, with glee roasted cauliflower example :

Want your kids to eat vegetables too?
  • Feed them vegetables in their raw perfect form
  • let them help you pick them out
  • 5 is old enough to make crudites aka peeled chopped carrots arranged on a tray for dinner
  • let them grow a garden
  • make 2 for dinner let them choose one they like
  • eat them yourself
  • grow them yourself
  • buy into a CSA-we get one maily because are kids go nuts for the vegetables, I am a master gardener and grow a lot myself but going to a farm once a week and hauling out a basket of vegetables is a great way to introduce new ones
  • keep trying
  • 3 bites never killed anyone, in our house you have to eat 3 bites of everything on your plate, and it's usually meat our kids choke down
  • provide them for snack time minus the ranch which is just a fatty sludge of MSG goo
Those are a few ways we turned our kids into veg heads. We love it, they love it and we are never ever sick.


Oh I was part of an experiment gone horribly terribly wrong over at Brilliant Sulk. You should head on over and read her family reunion post. But be forewarned I might, MIGHT drop the f-bomb. Was that a collective gasp sucking all the oxygen out of the atmosphere I heard?


Peace and Love,

Laura


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1.25.2010

Mom? Can I knit some more?

I took the plunge today and taught my 6 year old son to knit.


See?




He listened to my directions. And picked it right up. Within a few minutes he was knitting away. After rest time he asked "Mom? Can I knit some more?"


Handwork is nice quiet way to spend cold afternoons. Of course this came after learning how long an inch was, measuring just about everything and recording it in a book. Plus a good healthy dose of fresh cold air.





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1.24.2010

Cherry Berry Crunch

Now is the time to make sure your put up items are getting eaten. I put up bags and bags of pitted cherries, blueberries and chopped rhubarb last summer and we are slowly working our way through them. Crunch, muffins and cakes are great ways to use up the fruits you put away. This week I made some blueberry muffins and a delicious cherry berry crunch. If you froze or canned fruits from last summer it's time to get to work on them in anticipation of getting your freezer empty, washed down and ready for seasonal fruits.

Living in Alaska, fruit in the winter means we subsist on apples and oranges and last years fruits. I wish we had a year round market with fresh local fruits. Of course we have the out of season strawberries, grapes and such but we pledged a while back to eat whats in season or preserve it for later. If you're lucky enough to live in a year round seasonal fruit paradise let me know and we'll come stay with you for a while. In the meantime we'll be cleaning out the freezer pantry and dreaming of fresh fruit and waiting for our invitation. Anybody?


Cherry Berry Crunch
4 cups pitted cherries, you can use store bought if needed
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup flour
1/2 -1 cup sugar
in a 9x13 pan toss the cherries and the berries with flour and then the sugar
set aside

crunch topping
Topping
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup of flour, white or whole wheat
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup thick rolled oats

in a food processor pulse the butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon together, until they form coarse crumbs
add the oats and pulse lightly, you don't really want to chop up the oats just mix them in well
when the crumbs are mixed together sprinkle on top of the fruits
bake in a 350 degree oven until the top in browned and the berries are bubbly, 45-55 minutes


my mini me

minus the hooligan!


This was a wonderful change for our family from the usual winter treats we make. My 16 soon to 17 year old son could not wait and sneaked a bowl before we were done cleaning bedrooms. I should have been mad but just can't be mad at a boy who loves his mama's cooking. Can you? He claimed we hadn't had crunch since this post but that's just not true, I swear!

Still giving all my ad revenue to Blog Away Hunger, Help for Haiti this month. So help me by spreading the word, I don't want to be the only blogger who gives .27¢, seriously that WILL CRUSH ME. Thanks!


Peace and Love,




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1.23.2010

Chili Bread

This a great way to use up leftover chili. Especially when you make a vat of vegetarian chili and can't seem to find the bottom of the pot. I made this for lunch when all 3 of my sons were home, there wasn't a crumb left. It was nice to use leftovers and have it disappear so quick. Sometimes it's hard to be enthusiastic about chili on the third day.

If you are a bread maker by all means use your bread dough. A frozen loaf of dough will also work just as well. I'm not going to give you my bread dough recipe because I figure if you make bread you have your own and if you don't make bread well then you don't make bread.

Chili Bread--oven 400˚
1 batch of bread dough, punched down after it's first rise
2 cups leftover chili
1/2 cup shredded cheese
mustard to taste

on a baking stone or sheet pat out your bread dough nice and flat
about 10x16 or so
spread chili evenly over the top
add as much mustard as you like
sprinkle on cheese
begining on one long side roll up jelly roll style
pinch the seams and ends closed
lay the bread seam side down on the baking sheet
bake in a 400˚ oven for 30-35 minutes
cool for five minutes slice crosswise
and stand back!!











Upcycle those leftovers!


Peace and Love,



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If you agree to an exchange you are obligated

Period.
I just sent a snarktastic email to the Christmas exchange participant who could NOT manage to fulfill her obligations. Please it is not mandatory to participate in every interesting thing but if you can't say no then you should follow through. Like a repsonsible adult. Or send an email. Or respond to emails. I am a forgiving and understanding person, I will go out of my way to help people I don't know, I will volunteer until I collapse. I try to be a good person.

I thought about it a decided to NOT post the email I wrote it is mean, nasty and hateful. I don't regret writing it for one minute. I don't need to air my evilness here. I stand by what I wrote but it was only intended for one person to read.


I was raised to:

Do what you say.
and
Say what you do.

Apparently some people were not, maybe they were raised to think the world revolved around them. Man I hope I'm not raising my kids like that because I think that's a real problem in the world today. ME ME ME

.


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1.21.2010

Orange Upside Down Cake & bonus Candied Orange Peel

I bought a case of oranges 2 weeks ago and we have been plowing steadily through them. I love my winter oranges. Not particularly for myself, I get funky mouth sores, but my kids love them and eat them almost daily for snacks, or lunch. I had all 3 boys here Tuesday for lunch, while I was was peeling oranges I decided to leave them unsectioned and slice them in rounds. They looked like beautiful jewel slices and I was suddenly inspired to make an orange upside down cake.

And that's exactly what I did. I've never bothered to use cake flour in any cake recipe but for some reason I found a coupon from BlogHer Food 09 right before I went on my weekly grocery trip. I bought some Soft-as-Silk by Pillsbury with the coupon. I'll have to do some research and find out what it's all about but it did produce a light tender cake. I also used my homemade vanilla sugar in place of vanilla so the cake was a pretty creamy white. All in all a nice baking experiment. Simple and good. Oh and all the boys loved it, which pretty much means it's decimated.

Orange Upside Down Cake
3 large oranges, peeled but left whole, save peel
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 3/4 cup of cake flour
2/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup of milk
1 egg
1/4 softened butter

slice the oranges crosswise into approximately 1/2 inch slices set aside the end pieces for hungry kids
you will need about 8 nice round slices
place an 8 inch cake pan over medium heat, melt the butter in it
add the sugar and stir to disolve, remove from heat
lay the oranges in the buter mixture and set aside
preheat oven to 350˚
in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl add your dry ingredients
give them a whirl to mix through
add the wet ingredients, mix on low, scraping sides as needed
when all ingredients are incorporated
mix on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes-this is where I love my stand mixer, during this time I walk away and clean up my mess, when I come back the mess is controlled and the cake is mixed
pour the cake mixture over the oranges, spreading carefully
bake 30-35 minutes or until it's done
cool for 15 minutes
if your cake is slightly uneven, slice off any high pieces because
then invert a cake stand over it and carefully (HOT) flip the entire thing over and gently remove the cake pan
serve warm or cold

I'm always looking for ways to use 'every little bit' not only to save money but as an active form of recycling, upcycling or repurposing items. The orange peels created a bit of a dilemma for me: my chickens won't eat them, they take a coons age to compost and worm bin worms don't like them. Off course the obvious solution is to throw them out I mean how long could I possibly debate the purpose of ornage waste right> HA! I decided to candy them. I've only seen this done once and it was distasteful to me because I was poor and cleaning houses to buy MY OWN HOME back from my ex-husband (not to be confused with my 'real' husband I have now) and the woman making the candied orange peel was throwing out the whole orange. For some reason that stuck with me, here I was cleaning her toilets so I could keep my house and she had the audacity to be rich...and stupid...and careless. So I had a grudge against candied orange peel. Being the trooper I am, I sucked it up and made them anyway. They are interesting. Of course most things are when you get harried and slightly overcook them but whatever. I'm nibbling them.

Pretty basic recipe. Take the 3 peels from the above oranges and boil them for 20 minutes in a saucepan of water. After 20 minutes pour off the water and let them cool. When cool carefully cut the white pith out of them. Get as much as possible or they will be bitter. When they are trimmed as close as possible slice them into strips from 1/4 inch wide to 3/8 inch. Make a simple syrup of 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water, stir over medium high heat in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and the orange peels. Simmer the peels for 40 minutes. Remove to waxed paper and let them cool completely. Roll in sugar or leave plain for garnishes. Excellent upcycling of potential trash if I do say so myself.


before pith removal

after



I am participating in the Blog Away Hunger Help Haiti campaign and will be donating all my proceeds for January ad revenue to help the Haiti relief efforts. Check it out here.
Visit all the bloggers donating their ad income this month and help us, Help Haiti.


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and look at this beautiful day we had, cold but pretty