Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Time for Glaced Fruits and Peels

November will be upon us quickly, and with it the making of Christmas puddings and cakes. As we moved mid-July, I did not manage to make batches of candied cherries this year-but I have a cheat to share. If you drain a jar of maraschino cherries (go on, and do both red and green), and dry them in a dehydrator (or a slow oven) you end up with a pretty good substitute. At any rate, they will be much better than the dried tubs of glace cherries you can buy at the supermarket with an unknown vintage. This also works with tinned pineapple slices (in syrup). This year I'm going to try a tin of mandarin oranges in heavy syrup dried at low heat. Could be a disaster, but I'm optimistic.

Because of allergies, we can't buy most dried fruit as it is packaged in the same spot as nuts (and the fruit is sticky, working like a cross-contamination magnet). I'm comfortable making stem ginger, candied ginger, assorted peels and the like. The problem is that I typically start earlier-and everything this year has felt like a race.

After Halloween, there's no rest here until mid-January when the last of the Birthdays are done, the Three Kings Cake has been baked, and ( have the rest of the long, dark winter to recuperate. I have a quilt to start (Danny's annual Birthday quilt), parties to plan, and so on. Imagine how happy I am discovering you can dump a jar of maraschino cherries in a dehydrator and get a reasonable (and much less expensive) replacement for candied cherries. Well go on, imagine it!

Today I replaced a button on my winter coat I've been meaning to fix for two winters. It took all of three minutes to sew the damnned thing on, but until I took the coat from the closet, and laid it out at the dining room table, I couldn't be arsed to do it.

I've often wondered how my mother did it all. I'm guessing it was all the speed in the diet pills. I'll have to make due with caffeine.

What are you still doing here? Don't you have some cherries to dry? (Really, try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised).

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