Yet more oranges

January 23, 2008

The orange-fest continues.  
To date we’ve been gifted around 40 Seville oranges by friends who have a tree outside their house.  They are happy that they have finally found people willing to take them, in previous years this has proved to be a challenge.  This year another friend is making marmalade and we have sent a bag of empty jam jars in her direction and are hoping for a filled jar in return.  With the rate at which we eat marmalade a single jar should last us a year!
This week, since it is Ian’s birthday, we had offered to take something food-wise to a regular gathering of people.  What on earth could we make/take that would feed fifty, could be eaten standing up, in a field, probably in the dark and without making a mess?
Yeah, we got rid of some of the oranges ;-)
Syllabub for 50, garnished with slivers of zest and served in small plastic cups was the order of the day.  
Generally it went down well although there was a slightly odd reaction from a brand new member of the group.
The male of the couple was busy helping himself to a second portion when his wife screeched at Mands …
That’s my pension you are jeopardising!
Apparently she was concerned that the double cream would cause a heart attack, kill him and then rob her of a stable financial future aka access to his pension.  Not a bad day’s work for 100mls of cream really. 
She then went on to say that we should have added oats to the mix as it would have “improved the flavour” and that raspberries would have been better than oranges because then “it would have been more Scottish”
Since we are in the middle of the Med and overwhelmed with free Sevilles neither of her suggestions made an ounce of sense.  However when we pointed this out she became distracted by the notion of Seville oranges and demanded to know where they had come from.
She would very much like some, she said, because “they are so wonderful and sweet and so much tastier than normal oranges!”
For those of you who have never tasted a Seville orange there is a reason why they are used for making marmalade.  Using the same volume of sugar as oranges goes some way to offsetting the overwhelming sourness.   
These oranges were, at some time in their evolutionary history, crossed with lemons … or perhaps battery acid.  We nibbled on a small piece of zest a couple of days ago and are still waiting for the sensation to return to the taste buds involved.
Anyway, new rude mad Scottish woman thinks they are sweet!
Meanwhile we’ve been finding other uses for the remaining oranges.  A friend suggested that she’d made an orange version of Limoncello … which got us thinking.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to be sitting on a sundrenched patio sipping a tiny glass of chilled orange flavoured limoncello equivalent?  A little searching established that such a drink existed, called Arancello.
So, we spent a happy afternoon paring the zest from some of the oranges and stuffing placing it gently into bottles of Zivania – the local fire water.  Only time will tell whether it is any good … more news in due course!

Meanwhile, feel free to learn from our experience.  There is a knack to zesting and paring.  Once you have the knack it isn’t too hard (note orange on front right of plate).  Until you acquire the knack it seems to be an awful lot of effort for little return (back right!).

One comment

  1. […] Rough lemons have a very thick nobbly skin, sour juice and so many pips that they are not particularly useful for cooking. Bitter oranges, as their name suggests, are not in any way suitable for traditional eating.  Some time ago we were gifted several dozen.  Some ended up in a Christmas syllabub where their tartness was welcome after a rich meal; some became Arancello. […]

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