Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rescued Fruit and Other Kitchen Capers

So today, I came by several pounds of perfectly good dessert apples, and a large whole orange, by rescue.  Without going into the details, if I had not intercepted them, they would have been thrown away.  As if they were, scream, garbage.  I understand the hectic time of moving when you have two small kids, and how after a bit you lose your sense of morality about food and waste.  But anyway, I stepped in and they came home with me.

And here are all the apples, washed, peeled, chopped, and reposing in the freezer for the next time I need them, maybe a crumble, maybe a clafouti, maybe applesauce.

The orange, I don't buy oranges, usually, since I tend to be allergic to them, I put aside until I thought for a moment.

Then I picked up Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal, cookbook, from the library, and you know how you can tell you like a book? when you instantly get an idea from it.  In her intro she mentions that you never waste food, and gives a few examples of items that can go into something else. And she mentions that a lonely orange can turn into a kind of marmalade...

No sooner said than embarked on.  I like this sort of cooking, where you do interesting things to your ingredients.  I scrubbed the orange ad infinitum, then peeled off the zest in strips, with a peeler, not the zester, wanted slices of zest in the finished product.  After the above pic, I ran the pizza wheel back and forth through the zest to reduce it to smaller strips. Then I supremed the inside of the orange, not too successfully. This was a large, rather dry orange, the kind that looks impressive but actually is not as good value as a smaller heavier one with a lot of juice.

I used to supreme oranges all the time for Handsome Partner in his last years, since he loved oranges and his hands wouldn't let him deal with them.  But supremed, that's with all the pith and the membrane cut away, you're left with a lovely bowl of orange slices and their juice, edible with a spoon, fine for him.  Not hard to supreme if you have a nice juicy orange.  This one not quite up to that, but never mind, did me best.

Made a syrup with water, sugar and the zest, left it to manage on a low light for about 20 minutes, just guessed at this when I set the timer.  I also had to guess at the amounts of water and sugar, since her directions need more than one orange!  Then, zest done, I just stirred in the rest of the orange, and put it in a sterilized jar.  

I could have used a jar half the size, but I don't have one.  I'm sure there's an engineer's joke about the relative size of the contents to the container, the sort of uproarious joke where he looks at your shoes instead of his when he tells it..

Anyway, between discovering this good book, from a recommendation on the Cafe website, from a good cook, and finding the fruit in need of a good home, this was all good.

Also the springlike weather brought masses of birds to the suet feeder. I'm guessing they're loading up before embarking on the mating season.  A pair of Carolina wrens have been around together, and one started shouting territorial calls from my gatepost, so I hope that means they plan to move in and nest here.


1 comment:

  1. The marmalade sounds lovely. I think I might give something like that a try. I enjoy marmalade occasionally but don't need a huge batch of it.


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