There are a lot of farmers around these parts, and most all of them sell their goods in bulk to those of us willing to brave buying that much food. A few weeks ago I purchased a bushel of oranges, and we are going through them quickly enough. However, I still thought I would find some creative ways to use my oranges just in case we get burnt out on just eating them.

The obvious solution was to make juice, but that wasn’t exciting enough for me. Plus, I wanted to use as much of the oranges I could in order to get my money’s worth out of it. Someone suggested zesting some oranges and freezing the zest. In my research on the proper way to do this I came across recipes for candied orange peel.
I cannot deny that I am a sucker for homemade candies. I feel that much better when my kids eat the things we make instead of the store bought stuff.

Every time my kids or I ate an orange, I removed the pith and saved the peels in the fridge. Removing the pith is the most effort you will have to put into this. I use a paring knife and just gently begin removing the pith (the white stuff on the back of the orange peels). Pith has a very bitter flavor so you want to get it all off. The back side of your orange will have pock marks on it, that resemble the texture of the front of the peels when you are finished. It will also be a very pale orange color.

When you have enough (about ten oranges worth) slice your peels into strips about a half inch wide.

In a nonstick pot bring one cup of sugar and one cup of water to boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add in your peels. Simmer for twenty minutes and allow to cool at least four hours.

After they are cool simmer them in another cup of sugar and water for twenty minutes. Allow them to cool again. At this point I like to taste them to see if they are still bitter. If they are, repeat the simmering process up to twice more. If they are as sweet as you like strain them then lay them out on a cooling rack to dry.

These things are quite sticky at this point, which is good. We are going to dredge them in sugar and the stickiness helps it adhere to the peels.

I let them dry for three hours.

In a shallow dish place one cup of sugar and two teaspoons of salt and mix together. Place each orange peel into the sugar and turn to coat.

Then back to the cooling rack to finish drying.

You can skip the sugar coating and dip into melted chocolate as well.

Unbelievably yummy!

-Stephanie Wright

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