I recently got to make some with the kids I work with at summer camp. Their theme was "Pirates and Spies" of the 1700s so we made some orange themed foods to keep scurvy at bay. Yarr!
We were letting the peels dry when one of the older girls asked me "Where did you learn to cook all of this stuff? Pinterest?"
I laughed and told her that most of my cooking knowledge came from a time before Pinterest and I learned very much like the girls of the 1700s, from the awesome, experienced ladies I found in the kitchen. The first time I ever made candied orange peel was with Jodi from Curious Acorn.
In my travels into history, I've met two kinds of strong women. The first kind is snippy, closed off, and only too happy to point out when something isn't up to their standards. But the second kind is like a majestic tree with roots firmly planted and arms open wide. They plant and nurture the seeds of the future and parts of them are passed on through the generations. Jodi is this second type of woman.
This has been weighing on my mind as of late when a friend asked me what I miss most about my early days of living history. The thing I miss most was learning from these "grandmother tree" women, many who have moved on to be appreciated elsewhere, leaving us with more of the prickly cactus variety. The things they knew and were willing to teach were astounding and it was amazing to get to learn from them. I really miss learning something new at work everyday and am so grateful I had women willing to answer my pesky questions and not get frustrated when they had to tell me something for the zillionth time.
I am honored to get to help continue this tradition with young girls who don't have a lot of experience in this type of learning and encourage others to get out there and teach. Some girls only have Pinterest to learn from and we know how many of those turn out. :)
Candied Orange Peel
- 5-6 thick skinned Oranges
- 2 Cups Sugar, plus some for dusting
- 1 Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Salt
Peel the oranges, removing as much of the pith as possible. You can cut the orange peels into strips if you prefer. Soak in salt water for 10 minutes, rinse well. Stew the peels in fresh water, for about 15 minutes and drain. Repeat stewing and draining process. Place the peels in the stewpan once more, add the sugar and water and simmer until peels are tender. Remove peels and dry in a sieve for 10-15 minutes. Coat in granulated sugar.
You can make this recipe with lemon and lime peels or a mixture of the three. If you want to store your peels for an extended period of time, let them dry overnight before sugaring A friend at work said that she stores candied peels in sugar in a separate container, then uses the slightly citrus flavored sugar in tea and I think that is a great idea.