Monday, March 23, 2015

bitter, sweet, and sour

Yesterday our plucky heroine finished processing the blood orange marmalade - four 8 oz jars and three 4 oz jars. In addition, am experimenting with processing Seville orange juice... How different they are from modern oranges, which have much more liquid and far fewer seeds, not to mention being significantly sweeter. (Seville oranges are much closer to the original period orange)...

It took about a half dozen Seville oranges per 4oz jar of juice, which gives me an even greater appreciation of the use of this in period recipes* and how much status it would add to a dish; this type of orange is only available for a short time each year.

I intend, as well, to do yet more experimentation with the period candied peel recipes, since there is now more orange peel to play with... but for now, the peels will need a great deal of preliminary processing first. The recipes** I have seen involve, a short simmer, then a soak in fresh cold water, sometimes several times a day for up to eight days... not at all the same thing as modern blanching....

Currently there is a small tin of the ginger-cinnamon-sugar (dry) ones in the pantry, and a small jar of the rosewater and sugar (syrup) ones in the fridge; there is going to be a preserved foods competition at Egils this year, and I intend to enter my candied orange peel. And since Seville oranges are only available for a short winter season, I need to get the process underway now, and then store the candy til then...

March SMART goals
1ginger candied peelsill boards sandedyard waste bin
29 tiny enamelsfront yard weededyard waste bin
39 brooch settings  close plum prunedcompost bin full
4Bill SCA pantsmore mulch spread -
5Mindy undergownapple tree pruned-
6Mindy embroideryarborvitae pruned-
7Mindy aprondresssalad table trays-
8Laurel underdressworm bin renovated -
9Laurel aprondresssalad table planted-
10kawaii coasters--
11blood orange marmalade--
12Seville orange juice--

* a few medieval and renaissance recipes that call for orange juice:
  calamari recipe, that calls for orange juice (we might more commonly use lemon juice on seafood, but having tasted the unsweetened Seville orange juice, it is equally tart, with a pleasing bitter orange flavor)

swordfish recipe, that calls for an orange juice sauce (I am not sure that I agree with her redaction of the sauce, as she adds in 2 tsp grains of paradise, which appears to be an addition on her part uncalled for in the original, she uses a mixture of modern orange with lemon and lime juice to approximate sour orange)

an orange omelette "for harlots and ruffians" (scroll down, it is towards the end of their blog post)

** some additional period recipes for candied orange peel

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