Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Quick Fix: Dried Orange Peel
Whenever I eat an orange, I grate the peel off of it first. Then I simply spread the grated peel in a pan or a dish and put it in a warm dry place to dry. The top of my stove is perfect, or in the oven with the pilot light. It you don't have a stove with pilots, a spot by your heat vents or near your wood stove--or even under a lamp--would work well.
It doesn't take long for the peels to dry, usually 24 hours or less. Put them in a jar and into the cabinet (keep the light off of them to retain their bright color) and you've got a handy supply ready for use. You can reconstitute them with a little water if you need them to be soft for your recipe, but for most baking or cooking the dried peels will soak up moisture in the cooking process.
Add the dried peel to cranberries, to muffins, cookies, quick breads, pork recipes, herbal or black teas--there are so many possibilities. And if you need orange juice in a recipe and have none, soak a teaspoon of your dried rind in lemon juice and add a little sugar for a substitute. It won't be quite the same but it's better than water as a replacement for the juice.
I'm off to writer's group and the recording studio today. I have written about 2000 more words on the story I mentioned last week (the one about the people who show up claiming to be relatives). It's coming along, a slow unwinding of a story set in rural Virginia (echoes of my childhood in a small Virginia town) in the early 1960's. In the studio, we'll be editing the family stories CD I recorded two weeks ago, and I may add one more story to it, a bit about what it was like to grow up in a family of 13 children.
I hope you all have a great Tuesday!