January 02, 2012

A pot of Gold

The other day I went to help a friend make a big batch of orange marmalade. I  had never made it before and wanted to learn. Now I can read a recipe just like anyone else can and Ive canned lots of things before. But marmalade Ive avoided cuz I do not like the bitterness of it. Yes I know that's the classic way but I don't like it. My friend says his isn't like that so I wanted to see what he does. Ill be making some this week and posting my recipe but for now I wanted to post what I did with the extra gold I got from this.

He cut the ends off the oranges and most of the pith, then cut them up. And when cleaning up I noticed all those orange ends and asked him could I take them home. Of course he said yes.....not gonna use them himself I guess. But I saw a pot of gold there.

 Ever notice that when you want to bake something it often calls for orange juice and the zest of one orange? How many times do you NOT have an orange around? And so I thought if I zested these and dried them, Id have a nice pot of gold sitting around for when I baked. I already did this with a few oranges and lemons I got a few months ago. And I often do it with lemons Ive juiced to make dressings for salads too. Once dried they stay nice in a jar in my cabinet so I can flavor up anything I want without having to run to the store all the time.

But I still had all these fragrant ends and thought why not put them in vinegar?  They still had some zest on them and there's oils in it yet. So why not extract those in white vinegar. I use white vinegar for cleaning my bathrooms and counters and such. I used to add orange essential oil to it so it would smell good too. So I thought why not fill a jar with these leftovers and cover with vinegar. Ill let it sit awhile and then drain it and Ill have a nice smelling cleaning liquid plus orange oil is a great de-greaser. 

 And so I ended up with this, you see here. That is an old plastic gallon jar from mayonnaise that I saved. Its perfect for the vinegar. Heck if the vinegar tastes good, I might just make some more with apple cider vinegar for salads. I have a bunch of oranges here I have to use this week to make my own marmalade. But also you could toss these in your freezer and when you want the house to smell good, throw a few slices into a pan of water with some spices and bring it to a boil, then simmer it and the whole house will smell good. Its a cheap room deodorizer. So I think I got a lot of bang for the buck and it wasn't even my bucks lol. These were free.

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