Sunday, January 9, 2011

What to do with aging oranges

When we were young,there were 9 of us kids to feed, and Mom was a genius when it came to filling us up. I really never knew if she dreamed up lots of the ideas she used on us or where they came from, but we never went hungry.We didn't have a free run to the food like many kids do today.There were never any snacks lying around to grab, at any minute of the day.We,for the most part, grew up on real food,every time we ate anything. If we ever had sweets, we had to concoct them ourselves. Mom, would,on occasion,fix something sweet for us, but most of the time we were on our own. It was always a rule in our house though, you can cook up any kind of sweets you want from what we had available, but it must be eaten. No waste allowed. That, I suppose, is where I got the training I have had, that carried me on through life, with a job of cooking and serving school children's lunches for nigh onto 30 years.In the beginning, I was allowed to use those skills, but as time progressed, we had to stick to very strict guidelines and cook only what we were told. That's when all the fun went out of it for me. I should have asked, at that point, to be transferred to an experimental kitchen for school children everywhere. Maybe in Frankfort or the like. (lol)
The reason I tell you all of this is to give you a background of where I am coming from. That has been my motto for life. Utilize what you have to the best of your knowledge and Waste Nothing.Not a bad motto for us all to have.
Nevertheless, I come to this story. I really don't know if the rest of the world was eating some of the things we grew up with, but one of the things Mom use to make was Watermelon Rind Preserves. Pop gets so upset to this day when we have watermelon. He tries to pitch the rinds to the chickens,quickly, before I get to them first. I will can them even today.I think Mom did that out of necessity,back then. They always come in handy at Fruitcake Making time.When she canned her WRP,she would cook a few slices of oranges in with it, and it was always a fight as to who would get to the candied orange rinds first.I guess that was a sign of how hungry we were for sweets.
Now when I make my WRP, I load them up with candied orange peels.
So now you know what I do with my oranges that linger around too long after the holidays. I sometime feel, it borderlines on ridiculous instead of frugal,but they are, oh, so good in those fruitcakes, instead of that rock hard, teeth breaking, candied fruit you buy in the stores.I wash the oranges,cut off any offensive parts,dice them up into tiny pieces,rind and all,remove the seeds if they have seeds,cook the diced oranges up with plenty of sugar until they become thick and syrupy and glassy. Then I can or freeze them until I make WRP, or fruitcakes,IF they don't get eaten before then.
Hence,another one of my Frugal Tips.


  1. A good philosophy that you have. Great idea for the oranges.

  2. Better than throwing them away, that's for sure. Thanks for the information, Sue. :)

  3. Sue, I too make WRP, never thought to put orange peel in it. I save orange rinds in the freezer till I have enough to candie then I use them in a cookie recipe that calls for candied fruit. Super yummy! Also simmer them in a pot of water with cloves & cinnamon stick to make the house smell good.

    I have an old cookbook that has many odd canning recipes. One I really like is cantaloupe preserves, don't like cantaloupe fresh but love it canned!