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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to Candy a Vegetarian Homesteader

Candied citrus peels are relatively easy, once you know how. Actually, just about anything from sausage to flower petals can be candied, and truly taste good, not just palatable.

Pay attention to the size of your fruit. The following instructions are for 8 lemons, but if you use homesteading math, {2 banny eggs = 1 chicken egg, 2 chicken eggs=1 goose egg} 1 lemon =1/2 orange, while 1 orange = 1/2 grapefruit, you can adjust the recipe to your needs. You will need 8.5 ounces of water and 4.5 ounces of sugar per orange {use the homesteading math}

  • 8 lemons
  • 4.25 cups water
  • 2.5 cups sugar, plus more for coating

If you have a citrus peeler use that, if not a knife will work just fine. Peel the lemons carefully, trying to keep the peels intact {as much as possible}. Set the peeled oranges aside and reserve for another use. {like eating them}

Using a very sharp knife, cut away the bitter white pith from the underside of the peels. The remaining peel should be approximately 1/8” thick. Do not fret if small amounts of the white pith remain.

Slice the peels into long, thin strips approximately ½” wide.

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan set over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Heat, uncovered, 5 minutes or until the sugar/water comes to a boil.

Add the strips of peel to the sugar/water and turn the heat down to low, simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the syrup reduces to a quarter of its original volume
{the syrup will barely cover the tops of the peels}. Do not stir during this process, unless you want large sugar crystals {not really recommended}. The simmering will take around 2 hours.

Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Once it has cooled, drain the peels in a colander. At this time, turn your oven to 200F.

Place about one cup of sugar in a small bowl, and then dredge the peels in the sugar until they are well coated. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add more sugar if necessary.

Place the sugar-coated peels in the heated oven and allow them to dry out. This should take about one hour, but be sure to check on them every 20 minutes or so to ensure that they are not burning or cooking in any way. If this is no feasible you can also allow the peels to be left to sit out overnight on a drying rack instead of being placed in the oven.

Once the peels are completely dry, scrape off any excess sugar clumps. Store them in a dry location and they should keep for at least 2 weeks.

Homesteading as a vegetarian.

As some of you know, I qualify my butchering post at the beginning. I was a vegan, then a vegetarian for most of my life. Things changed when I became pregnant, then my resolve caved when I moved to the country. It can be done, being a vegetarian homesteader. Unfortunately I am no longer in the mind set to really give good advice. You would need to learn what crops can be grown at which time, so that you seasonal eating doesn't become only a canned diet. Any homesteaders that blog, please leave a link if you are a vegan or vegetarian so that my readers can see how you live.

I wish you luck.

Anyone else wish to ask about a how-to?

Side note; here is an update on the man who's farm was raided by the government and forced to comply with unnecessary testing.


alrescate said...

Huh. I was wondering where you got a jar big enough for a vegetarian homesteader but that's not what you meant.


elia said...

I'm more vegetarian than homesteader, but I'm trying - the hardest part for me is acknowledging that yes, I will need to buy bulk grains and legumes that have traveled here from somewhere else. I buy from coops whenever possible, and as local as I can find - if not locally grown, then at least semi-locally processed (i.e King Arthur flour from Vermont). I also completely support homesteaders who grow their own, process their own, hunt their own meat, and so on. It's just not the choice I've made. I think the important thing is, one way or another, to step away from the consumer culture of meat. For me that's an environmental motive, and reducing meat in general for me "counts more" than local protein. And if I were pregnant or nursing, it could conceivably change things somewhat.

Celeste said...

Thank you so much with the candied fruit peel! I am printing this out so I will always have it

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