Saturday, October 20, 2012
Here are the recipes I followed:
What's the difference?
Know how truly lazy I can be?
I hunted for recipes until I found one that didn't require me to PEEL ten pounds of quince.
This is good stuff. A subtle, sweet, tad apple-y, complex flavor. But I don't overcook mine. I'm SO familiar with how well quince sets up, I'm sure not going to overcook it. I might try covering it in chocolate like Alejandra:
Thursday, March 29, 2012
But today I asked one if there was anything over the counter that would help fade the spots that I spent my formative years embedding in my skin. She pointed me at scar fade cream.
But that's for scars, I said. I just need something for sun spots.
There's nothing for that, except the prescription medications, she said. You need hydroquinone.
I know for a fact that her very small tube of prescription hydroquinone is $150 on my medical plan, because I've asked a doctor about this before. $150 happens to be an amount that is hard for me to conscience for a little tube of fade cream. Pharmacists don't get kickbacks from the pharmas for recommending their drugs, right? Well, is that right?
So I walked across the Walgreen's and asked the lady in the cosmetics department if she had anything that helped sun spots to fade. She pointed me at six different products, one of them brand new and goes on sale on Sunday, and gave me advice on each. She had even used some. I picked up the cheapest one (less than $5 for 2 ounces) and walked back over to the pharmacist.
I pointed at the ingredients list. This is what you meant, right? I asked.
She was stunned. Could have knocked her over with a feather. That's right, she said (how could they have slipped this into the store without my knowledge? was her expression).
There's at least five different kinds over there, I said. But I'm guessing your prescription stuff has a stronger concentration of it, right?
She went back in her stacks of drugs and found some. Yes, this is 4% strength, she said. And I don't know how much these over the counter ones cost, she said. Five bucks, I said.
2% - $4.89, 4% - $150. I'll take my chances.
Question authority. Don't ever forget - all authorities are human. And, no matter how smart you are, it's hard to keep up.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Left to right, our marmalade candidates for Most Beautiful preserves of February 2012 are:
Sanguinelli (blood orange), Sarawak (pummelo), Bergamot (sour orange, where they obtain the perfumed flavor of Earl Grey tea), Bouquetier de Nice (sour orange), and Seville (VERY traditional sour orange for English marmalade).
I put up a total of 46 cups of marmalade this month. Hoo-ah.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
The two bergamot trees that I picked on the third Saturday in January have yielded:
- Two batches of curd - one with brown sugar, one white;
- Two batches of marmalade - one with wekiwa as the "lemon" juice, one with Kaffir lime;
- One quart of frozen yogurt, containing peel and juice;
- Four frozen cups of bergamot juice;
- Two quarts of infused sugar - one with grated peel, one with strips;
- One frozen bag of ground peel (over a cup);
- Two boxes of fruit that went to Allie in Texas;
- Several golden orbs that went with Tod to his 6-day cookfest last week;
- And last but not least (I will try it tomorrow) one quart of black tea infused with flavor from all of the white bits that are left after I zested the peel and removed the juice.
Whew. I am now sporting a blister on my right hand from using the potato peeler on 18 bergamots today. I am completely out of wide-mouthed jars, and had to grab a large box of 42 plastic containers and lids from Costco earlier this week.
My house smells like a bergamot festival!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Featured in this photo are, large back left to right: Sarawak, Melogold, Oro Blanco, Chandler; bright orange are tangelos, then a Moro; two kinds of lemons, one small Michal mandarin, all flanked by Allie's favorites, the Bergamots. Total fruit picked and brought home was probably around 80lbs.
Who didn't show up for the photo? Yuzu Papeda and Hand of Buddha, who have all been processed, and the Wekiwas, Sevilles and Bouquetier de Nice were avoiding the camera.
So, what do you do with this much fruit? How do I love thee... let me count the ways:
- I do eat them. I put them in the kids' lunches. But for the first week I couldn't eat any because of my recent oral surgery, so I started processing right away.
- Lots of juice. I have actually drunk plenty of mixed fruit juice the past few days.
- Champagne sorbet with Limonero Fino lemon juice (more, with Oro Blanco, on the list).
- Candied citrus peel - Hand of Buddha and Yuzu. More coming. Must candy some Bergamot.
- Curd: Bergamot (2 batches - one with brown sugar and one with white - this is Best in Class so far this year), blood orange, Chandler, and Limonero Fino
- Frozen yogurt: Yuzu so far. Lemon tomorrow.
- Booze: Limoncello using Limonero Fino, Sarawak, Yuzu/Melogold, and Hand of Buddha. Still on the list: Bergamot and Grand Marnier. And I might just toss a bunch more lemon zest into the big Limoncello jar and double it. Who can have too much Limoncello?
- Marmalade: mixed blood orange and Limonero Fino. Lots more on my list.
- What I'm calling "crack". When I candy the peel, I save the sugar water that's left, and if it has reached the crack stage, it becomes brittle little infused pieces of goodness that go into my chai in the morning.
- Dried finely ground peel: Lemon, Pommelo and Orange.
- Dried peel from eating fresh fruit: I just toss this into my chai when it's simmering. Yum.
Some fruit has wended its way to Allie (YuminTum, who makes fabulous recipes and it's the least I can do for someone whose heart is in cooking while her head is in college textbooks), and some has gone to Tod, who is a fabulous chef who cooks at my annual knitting retreat in Ben Lomond each year. He picked his up personally, and was thus able to taste a bunch of the booze I made last year with the Mecca haul. He got half the Yuzus, because they're very loved by chefs, especially for Asian food. I had never picked the Yuzus before, and they began to rot rapidly. So you never know, maybe Yuzus will become one of my new favorites - the flavor certainly is distinctive.
Allie has lots of ideas, and I'll probably follow some of them. I have about another week of processing to go. Wish me luck...