Dec 18: Orange Peel

Part of the 2020 good-times advent calendar! If you have ideas, and/or would like to see something fun drawn into the advent calendar, please let me know. Comment below or email/WhatsApp me and let’s have fun this next few weeks.

This might seem even more oddly specific than pomegranates, but this is more about an activity than a treat to eat. Mum suggested candied orange peel as a distancing-friendly holiday activity, and one she had already been doing. Mum listens to Radio Canada while she does projects in her lovely bright kitchen, and settles in on a padded stool at her kitchen island so she can see out into the garden as she works – the neighbour cats and hummingbirds keep it interesting. The orange peel is a multi-generation Christmas tradition, and is an ingredient in the Christmas pudding recipe Nana brought to Canada, as well as Christmas cakes, some kinds of Christmas biscotti, and it tasty to eat on its own after dinner, with or without one end dipped in chocolate.

Mum making candied seville orange peel in November, which will go into Christmas cakes, Christmas pudding, and the chocolate dipped version.

I might have helped, but I don’t think I’ve ever made candied orange peel by myself. However, I think it is one example in a category of time-intensive kitchen projects that become and investment in future enjoyment. Elizabeth has made perogies with Kirsten as part of a family holiday tradition, with everyone gathered around pinching the little pockets together. Auntie Vie used to bring tamales when she came to visit, and I have taken to making them and putting them in the freezer – they are a real project to put together but so quick to cook and eat later. I haven’t found corn husks here yet, but since being in Sweden we have made lentil meatballs and soaked-dry-chickpea falafels. All great cozy, indoor projects for chilly and wet winter days, perfect for listening to the peanuts Christmas album and setting up some dinners for busier days in the new year.

Didn’t realize I had this awesome Nana recipe for ginger snaps. A little different from mine, but glad that it’s been a family Christmas tradition since I was a baby!