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More Crafty Progress

December 14, 2011

So it turned out on Monday night that I couldn’t resist keeping going and I simmered the orange and lemon peel for a bit in their sugar water.  I used 2 cups of the water that each peel had last boiled in and one cup of sugar per pot.  Simmered again on Tuesday morning and then once again on Tuesday evening.  I also switched the peels around in their pots since the lemon peel in the smaller pot didn’t seem to be evaporating as quickly (duh – smaller surface area!).

This morning, I simmered each peel again for 30 minutes, as the recipe states, switching the pots again in between.  There was still some liquid in the lemon peel when it was done simmering – much thicker and more syrupy than when I started – and I was figuring to do another simmer on Thursday, since the recipe says to do that twice.  Imagine my surprise when I checked on the lemon peel after a bit and found that it had pretty much crystallized in the pot!  After a moment of freak out and wondering if I’d succeeded in making a hard lemon candy, I found that everything was still flexible, just no longer liquid.

So, I decided that meant it was “done” and separated out the individual bits of lemon peel from the crystallizing sugar onto a piece of parchment paper.  I did the same with the orange peel when it had finished simmering and started to crystallize when cooling as well.  Overall, I think this was a successful experiment.  The process is perhaps not as “quick and easy” as modern recipes, but it’s also not a difficult thing to do.  You just have to keep an eye on the stove for a few days and let the peel do its thing.  I definitely recommend using a larger pot to allow the peel to move around a little more and the syrup to evaporate more readily.  Plus, it tastes really good!

Monday night I also made a batch of gingerbread, using the recipes I’d adapted for last year’s Regional and Kingdom Arts & Sciences competitions.  It doesn’t look like much, but it tastes pretty good!  I’ll cut it up into squares or diamonds for people to taste on Saturday.

Finally, I put most of the finishing touches on the Gothic notecard on Monday as well.  I’m pretty happy with the way it looks.  It’s not “perfect” of course, but I’m trying to work on not worrying about that too much!

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