20 December 2007

Christmas Preparations

The last couple weeks have been busy with Christmas preparations, including a visit from my youngest son, aka the Artist. He and I have been making treats to send to the family in Colorado. One of our family's favorite holiday treats is Candied Orange Peel. This recipe was passed down to us by a dear lady who was an adopted grandmother of mine when I was growing up. Here is the recipe.



CANDIED ORANGE PEEL

Yield: varies

Carefully cut and collect peel from thick-skinned oranges, grapefruit or lemons.
Place collected peel in a large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Repeat 3 to 5 times to remove bitterness from peel.

Slice cooked peel into ¼” wide strips. Measure peel.

For each cup of cooked peel, prepare a syrup of:
¼ c water
½ c sugar
Heat gently until sugar is dissolved. Add cooked peel.
Boil gently until syrup is absorbed and peel is translucent.

In a small bowl place:
1 c granulated sugar
Roll each slice of peel in sugar, and then place it on a cooling rack to dry overnight. When dry, store in a cool dry place.

Options:
Roll in powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.
Dip dried candied peel in melted chocolate.

Tips for success:
Score fruit into quarters before removing peel to maintain peel in large pieces for initial boiling.
Stir cooking peel minimally to prevent strips from breaking.

In addition to Holiday baking, we put up my small tree with favorite small ornaments, mostly pinecones, acorns, tiny glass balls and little woodland animals. It sits on my Great Grandmother's treadle sewing machine in front of my favorite Tasha Tudor print. The little gnome lamp was made around 1910 by the same adopted Grandmother that passed along the candied orange peel recipe! The embroiderd cloth with holly leaves is one of two matching doilies I found antiquing.

Crafting Christmas Cards has been another of our preparations. Lots of cutting and pasting! They came out beautifully!




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